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This year’s International Woman’s Day theme is #EachforEqual and, collectively, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world! We’re speaking to two of our favourite women in sport – Team GB Boxer, Sandy Ryan and Amateur Jockey, Becky Smith. 

What does it mean to you to be recognised equally against your male counterparts?

Becky Smith: It means a lot and I very much believe nowadays 90% of the time we are recognised as equal. I feel that I personally have very rarely had any issues with not being treated equally which is brilliant. There will always be the ‘men are stronger’ claim, but in every walk of life you will meet hurdles!

Sandy Ryan: To be recognised equally against men is important for me as in my sport we do exactly the same training wise and we train together men and female I think that helps a lot and has a big impact for us women. Especially confidence boost etc.

Which women are you inspired by?

Becky Smith: There are so many in a wide range of fields! My Sister (Gemma Hogg), Kelly Holmes, Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry (both ex Irish amateur jockeys), Rachel Blackmore, Hayley Turner, Hollie Doyle, Josephine Gordon, Serena Brotherton (multiple times champion amateur!). Also, Olivia Coleman, Pink and Annabel Neasham (Assistant Trainer to Ciaron Maher). All these inspire me because they dedicate and work hard for what they believe in and have been successful through it.

Sandy Ryan:  The women I’m inspired by is my mam, she’s been through a lot and still pulls through shows where I get my strength from!

Do you feel your sport is doing enough to encourage and champion women?

Becky Smith: I think we champion ourselves and through having a good network around us. The time is now for us girls. We are being given the opportunity to prove we are able and I think it is what you make of it. Sport itself is doing plenty, but more can always be done!

What advice would you offer aspiring young girls getting into your industry?

Becky Smith: Work hard and dedicate yourself to whatever you want to achieve. I was once told whether you want to be a jockey, work in a supermarket or be a doctor, work to be the best at it.

Sandy Ryan: I would say to young girls or any female whatever against give it a go don’t be scared to walk in a boxing gym as I was and I’ve never looked back!

Strike the #EachforEqual pose

So put your arms out front and STRIKE THE #EachforEqual POSE to motivate others and to make International Women’s Day YOUR day.
Do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women everywhere.

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  • Written by:
  • Harrogate Spring
  • Published on:
  • 7th March 2020

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