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Women in Sport

09th Sep 2020

The Long Road | The future for women in sport: Choose what’s next


“Reality is a social construct reinforced over time.”

The reality is, the bar is set higher for women in sport than it is for men.

The female sportspeople of Ireland have found that they generally have to do something on a global level to get national attention. They have to produce something far bigger than these shores to be embraced by them.

In The Long Road, an original 20×20 documentary, Elaine Buckley put it perfectly.

“Women have had to achieve something monumental in order to warrant that kind of attention.

“Women have to achieve ridiculous levels of achievement, in order to get basic levels of respect.”

Think of Sonia O’Sullivan. A once in a lifetime Irish athlete who has to succeed at the Olympics before she’s an undoubted hero.

Think of Katie Taylor. One of the best boxers in the world who has to literally get the sport into the Olympics. So she can win it and take the acclaim she deserves.

The Irish Rugby team in 2013. Four victories in succession to set themselves up for a Six Nations grand slam. Only the final game was televised.

For years, Irish women have been breaking through the wall with unbelievable feats and they’ve been inspiring everyone with what they can do and what they can say. And, still, the wall remains.

In this powerful documentary, 20×20 explore the journey that has been for sportswomen in this country. And what comes next.