Earlier this year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, I expressed my hope that that 2012 will be a year of recognition for our female sport stars, many of whom have dedicated their lives to pursuing excellence in their discipline, without receiving the respect and accolades they deserve.
I am delighted the last few days have demonstrated that my hope is well on the way to being realised.
There has been overwhelming interest, success, and energy buzzing around the women’s games and tournaments. This is, I am sure, in no small part due to the fact that for the first time in Olympic history, women from all participating countries will be competing.
There have been some brilliant displays of women’s sport and I am not at all surprised by the overwhelming attention towards the women’s football games given the fierce competition and real sense of gaming spirit alive in the sport.
Our Olympic heroines, Glover and Stanning have definitely done us proud. Their success is one that will not only boost enthusiasm amongst Team GB supporters but also young women to get more involved in mainstream sport.
Malaysian Olympian Nur Suryani Mohammed Taibi’s achievements are also extraordinary and inspirational. Despite being heavily pregnant, her perseverance and dedication to the Games have proven admirable.
The impressive achievements of a younger generation of sportswomen has also been remarkable. Both 16 year old Ye Shiwen and 15 year old Ruta Meilutyte have shown amazing skills in the swimming and I am sure their successes will generate a powerful wave of young successful female athletes amongst our younger generations.
This was why I was delighted to attend our Sports4Women Festival in July at Mile End Park Leisure Centre, which encouraged more women to participate in sport. There will be activities organised by Sports4Women throughout the summer at Whitechapel and Tiller Leisure Centres.
This is an exciting time for not only our female Olympians but also for aspiring sports women across the globe and in our borough.