Nicola Adams Wants More Coverage For Female Boxing
Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams has warned there is still a lot of work to do to improve the profile of women's sport and encourage more young girls to get involved in physical activity.
Women's boxing has seen one of the biggest surges in participation in the wake of London 2012, but figures revealed by Sport England last week showed overall participation in sport was down 50,600 on figures from the same time last year.
The issue of encouraging young girls to take up sport has always been close to Adams' heart and she remains convinced much of the answer lies in the profile afforded top female athletes by TV and print media.
"In women's boxing things have changed massively," said Adams. "There has been a 50 per cent increase in numbers since the Olympics and it is obvious they have been inspired by the Games.
"But there is still a lot of work to be done. It is important we get more sports women on TV and in the media and if that happens then I think there is a good chance the numbers will keep increasing.
"It's all about getting the awareness out there. For example I didn't realise women played snooker at a high level because I'd never seen them on TV, and I bet a lot of other girls didn't know that too.
"If they are not aware of the sports they are not going to go out with any desire to try them. That's what the Olympics does, and it's what TV and the media could do as well if they show more women and put them in the sports pages."
Adams was speaking in her capacity as an ambassador for Street League Liverpool, which works with young people to help them find employment through a structured football and education programme.
Role models have hardly come much bigger since Adams' historic triumph at the London Games but the unassuming 31-year-old says she is unfazed by the enormous expectation she now faces every time she laces on the gloves.
Adams said: "I don't really feel the pressure, I just go out and do the best I can every time, and that's all I can do.
"People are always asking me if I can get the gold but I think there would be more pressure if people didn't assume I could win every time.
"I'm happy and confident and when people expect me to do well and they come out to support me - it just makes me believe I can do it even more."