Top 10 Moments for Women in Sport in 2015
By Sam Squiers
Wow! What a year! We get the feeling history will remember 2015 as a major turning point for women in sport.
Looking back on the year has us beaming with pride, crying for joy, chest beating, cheering and doing an unco-ordinated running man in celebration of all that was achieved. And it wasn’t even an Olympics year!
Look out 2016 as 2015 made plenty of advances and something tells me you’re going to reap the rewards from it as well.
1.”Get Stuffed!” – Michelle Payne becomes First Woman to Win the Melbourne Cup
Who has goosebumps already? We can’t think about this without getting chills of pride in response! Not only did Michelle make history becoming the first female to win the Melbourne Cup, she gave a kick-arse speech that had women all over the world fist punching in a chorus of “Hell Yeah!”.
Let’s just take a moment to relive it shall we..
“It’s such a chauvinistic sport…I know some of the owners were keen to kick me off, and John Richards and Darren stuck strongly with me, and I put in all the effort I could and galloped him all I could because I thought he had what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup.”
“I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because they think women aren’t strong enough but we just beat the world.”
Michelle was actually the one who beat the world, but with that one “we” she made all women collectively share in that one awesome moment because let’s be honest we’ve all had to deal with sexist, chauvinistic people at one point and we all could relate to what Michelle bravely said out loud. Finally someone was saying what we all were thinking! Nice one Michelle, we all feel inspired to succeed and speak up because of your win. All together now, “Get stuffed!”
2. Diamonds Dominate – Diamonds Win the Netball World Cup
Our netballers are the best in the world. There was no shortage of pressure for the girls as they entered the tournament, they were ranked number one in the world, defending champions, commonwealth games gold medallists and on a 19 game winning streak. Plus it was a home World Cup.
After being upset by New Zealand earlier in the tournament, they met their old foe once again in the final and this time they made no mistake, emphatically winning 58-55 in front of a world record crowd of 16,752.
3. Ashes to Ashes – Southern Stars Win the Ashes
They did in England what our male team failed to do – deliver Ashes glory and bragging rights to Australia!
After a 2-1 One Day Series and a test win, the Southern Stars only needed to claim one win from the remaining three T20 clashes. England may have taken the first T20 match, but our Aussie girls fired back in the second restoring cricket order in the world!
4. Waltzing Matildas – Matildas make Quarter-Final of Women’s FIFA World Cup
Heading into the tournament, the girls were haunted by critics writing them off after drawing the “group of death” with the United States, Sweden and Nigeria. They leapt over the first hurdle qualifying for the round of 16 stage and then created history by becoming the first Australian side to win a knockout match when they beat the football-mad nation of Brazil 1-nil to make it through to the Quarter-Final.
Their journey would end there, but not before creating an almighty avalanche of support and respect from back home.
5. Firebirds Are Go! – QLD Firebirds Win A Thrilling ANZ Championship
The screams were deafening, the adrenalin high and the hearts racing a million miles an hour…sounds like a scene from a thriller movie doesn’t it?…well a thriller it was, but movie? Well it could be! As these were the nerve-racking final few moments of the Firebirds Grand Final win over the Swifts.
The Swifts had led the entire match and then in the most dramatic of circumstances the Firebirds snatched victory in the dying moments turning the game on its head. The packed Brisbane Entertainment Centre erupted into a roar as the Firebirds were finally able to break off the bridesmaids tag that has haunted the team for so long!
6. Sister Act – Bronte Campbell’s World Championship Glory
Swimming’s an individual sport right? Well, not when it comes to the Campbell sisters, seriously how proud would their parents be right now! Not only are they leading the swimming charge in Australia, winning more medals than they have wall space to hang them, but they just happen to be the loveliest, most supportive, down-to-earth girls in the process!
It’s usually older sister Cate who usually prefers to wear the gold, but at the World Championships in Russia, Bronte broke free of the younger sibling shackles by claiming gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle finals and became just the third woman in history to do the 50-100m double. But it’s witnessing the interaction between the two sisters straight after they’ve touched the wall which is truly uplifting, any disappointment is quickly put to one side as a shared joy for the other is replaced. Sister Act? Nah the Campbell sisters are a class act. Watch out Rio!
7. Let’s Crash the Big Bash – Launch of the WBBL
Well, hasn’t the WBBL rocked the boat and put a few men’s sports on notice. Why? Well in the first weekend of the WBBL being broadcast it well exceeded all internal expectations. The WBBL games won their timeslots, had three times as many games as men’s A-League matches and out rate both the men’s one-day cup games and the NBL. And who says women’s sports don’t rate?! Above that the introduction of the WBBL has been a huge step for women’s cricket and women’s sport. Little girls can go to games, turn on the television and instead of seeing male cricket stars, they see women cricket stars. In backyards all over Australia little girls are pretending to be Ellyse Perry, Holly Ferling and Alex Blackwell, we’re inspiring a whole new generation of sports stars.
8. Queen of the Mountain – Renee Gracie & Simona de Silvestro Race in the Bathurst 1000
It’s not the first time and all female team has competed in the great race, but Renee Gracie and Simona de Silvestro were the first since 1998 and they sure made an impression. They had to put up with sexist and belittling comments from other drivers (David Reynolds) in the lead up to the race but came out firing on race day. The girls will be back in the race early next year and we can’t wait to see them rip in again!
9. Holly Hell! – Holly Holm v Ronda Rousey Spectacular
Never before had the UFC had a crowd like this. 56,214 people packed into Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, figures that the professional MMA fighting had never seen and it was two women who drew them there. That in itself is the ultimate knockout, let alone what came next. The woman who was the 8 to 1 underdog, the woman who was expected to lose and never be seen again, did what no one was able to do before her: knock out Ronda Rousey. With a left kick to the head, the whole world was left in shock as the preacher’s daughter took down the biggest name in the sport. Talk about breaking the internet, the headlines didn’t stop, and I’m surprised social media sites didn’t crash, so was the never-ending online buzz afterwards. The world was watching, the globe was talking and who was causing all of it? That’s right, two women in sport. Kapow!
10. Don’t Give Her The Flick – Felicity (Flick) Palmateer rides the biggest wave surfed by an Aussie Woman!
And it was a monster. Haven’t seen it? You should, and lucky for you the clip is below. Flick rode the giant wall of water at the notorious surf break at Cow Bombie, proving that she is one hell of a woman. Best of all, the whole thing was filmed, and confirmation it’s the biggest wave ever surfed. Best of best of all…Flick doesn’t intend to stop her big wave riding there…look out!