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Women’s Sports Movies: 5 Inspiring Films With A Female Lead

Women’s Sports Movies: 5 Inspiring Films With A Female Lead

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Growing up, sports were very much a part of my childhood. My parents grew up the same way I did in the sense that they tried just about every sport out there. Some stuck, and some didn’t.

I recall watching some of my favourite women’s sports movies as a kid like Stick-It, She’s The Man, Ice Princess, and Bring It On. I have to say the lack of female representation in sports movies was and still is notably low. Though, the women’s sports movies that have blessed us with the inspiration to follow our dreams are definitely worth mentioning. 

Here are 5 of the most inspiring women’s sports movies: 

1. She’s The Man (2006)

“She’s The Man” – Trailer

I love a good women’s sports movie that combines the love of the sport and classic comedy. In She’s The Man, Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) poses as her twin brother after her soccer team gets cut. Her then boyfriend, Justin is on the Cornwall men’s team. After they refuse to put her on their team, she takes her brother, Sebastian’s place at school and tries out for the men’s team in Illyria. She earns her spot on the team, but has a hard time fitting in, and proving she deserves that spot.

I like this soccer movie because sometimes in the sports industry women aren’t taken seriously and are seen as an equal to their male counterparts. This movie proves that it doesn’t matter if you are male or female, if you have the talent, and passion, nothing else matters. Spoiler Alert: her team won the final game against her ex-boyfriend, then Viola removed the wig and sideburns and revealed to the crowd that she is a woman. Then she scored the winning goal on her ex-boyfriend. I won’t spoil anything else, you’ll just have to watch it!

2. Ice Princess (2005)

“Ice Princess” – Trailer

Ice Princess follows Casey Carlyle, a teenager who discovers a newfound love; figure skating. Despite her mother’s disapproval, and lack of money to look glamorous on the ice, Casey decides to beat the odds. Even though she can barely skate let alone fly in the air. Casey is an academic that soon discovers skating can be applied to the ice. With the help of her friend, the mean girl’s mother, and the Zamboni driver she becomes an amazing figure skater.

Even while getting bullied by fellow figure skaters, and dodging her mom’s laid-out academic plan, she knows who she is and who she wants to be. Not only does she make her way up to be among the top skaters, she even wins over her bullies and helps them become better people and skaters.

3. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

“Bend It Like Beckham” – Trailer

Bend It Like Beckham brings us a great story of a young girl, Jess who grew up in a traditional Indian family. Her family expects her to learn how to cook and get ready for her future wedding, but Jess has other things on her mind. She wants to play professional soccer like her hero, David Beckham.

This women’s sports movie inspires women to break free from the norm and follow their hearts. Jess undeniably loves her family, but she also loves soccer. Can she have both tradition and a great love for the sport?

4. Stick-It (2006)

“Stick It” – Trailer

Stick it is about another young girl named Haley Graham. Haley is a former gymnast who made it onto a Junior Olympic team years ago. Then she had issues with her former coach leading to her departure and a few run-ins with the law. When faced with going back to a Juvenile detention centre, or enrolling in an elite gymnastics academy, VGA, she chooses Juvie. Though, the law chose to not fulfill her wishes so she can get a second chance to turn her life around, at VGA.

Haley is not like the other girls at VGA, at first she is not well-liked and has a hard time fitting in amongst the pink leotards. She soon realizes that this team, and her coach, Burt Vickerman are not the same as her old team and coach. She allows herself to be vulnerable, speaks her mind, and blows everyone away. She finds herself in the sport she thought she could never go back to.

5. Poms (2019)

“Poms” – Trailer

Poms is a more recent women’s sports movie, one of which I have watched numerous times as it is very humorous and inspires me to follow my dreams. The best kind of movie really. Martha is a woman who likes to keep to herself. After a cancer diagnosis, she denies treatment and moves to a retirement community. Looking for peace and quiet, instead, she gets Sheryl, a sweet, young-at-heart woman that lives next door. Martha wants nothing to do with her, but that doesn’t stop Sheryl from working her way into Martha’s life. Sheryl soon discovers Martha used to be a cheerleader, she then insists they start a team and fulfill a few sweet old lady’s dreams.

I know what some of you may be thinking, “cheerleading is not a sport”. Though, only people who have never been a cheerleader say that. I was a cheerleader for six years while also doing various other sports and I have to say it was the hardest by far. We trained harder than I ever have, lifted girls over our heads, and had hours of non-stop conditioning and practicing routines. These women are obviously not lifting people, but they still put in a lot of hard work, training and conditioning. Doing a sport like that at their age is inspiring. If they can do it, so can you, at any age.

“You’re never too old to chase your dreams.”

Diana Nyad, Professional Swimmer

Final Thoughts

In women’s sports movies, I would like to see more inspirational true stories about the world’s female athletes. It would be great to have more serious sports movies about female athletes as there are so many male sports films.

I hope you enjoy a few of my top women’s sports movies. If you wish to watch more women’s sports movies, here are a few more I’d like to recommend: Soul Surfer, (prepare to cry) Bring It On, (especially the original 2000 version, and the 2009 movie) and All You’ve Got. These movies also show women making it in their designated sport and proving doubters wrong. Following their dreams and crushing their goals.

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