International Women's Day: How Serena Williams, Alex Morgan & others would change their sport

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Serena Williams and Alex Morgan on progress in women's sport

When it comes to equality in sport, the struggle continues for sportswomen the world over.

According to recent studies, they are often paid less and receive less media exposure - but those wider issues aside, how can individual sports be made more equal?

As part of International Women's Day campaign #pressforprogress, we asked eight top sportswomen what changes they wanted to see in their respective fields.

You can join the debate by telling us how you would change your sport via this link:

Serena Williams - tennis

I think women deserve a little more equal play time on the centre courts outside of the marquee players. I think women work really hard and deserve that respect.

Outside of some marquee players - which is just a handful - it's almost, 'the women's matches are at this time and the men's matches are at the more marquee times'.

I think Wimbledon are getting better with that, and I definitely applaud them - but there's obviously lots of progress all the tournaments could still be making.

Tracey Neville - netball

Tracey Neville
Tracey Neville is England's netball coach and hoping to lead them to World Cup success at home in 2019

In netball, there are so many fantastic ways for women and girls to get involved in the sport at the grassroots level, but when it comes to our elite sides, we need to continue pushing to make our women become professional athletes.

There is lots being said around equal pay in other sports. Unlike most, we don't have a men's game to compare to but we do know that our athletes need a fair professional wage which would allow them to concentrate on becoming the best netballers in the world.

A major part of this comes down to media coverage. Netball - and women's sport in general - needs a more prominent role in the sports press and broadcasting.

This would encourage sponsors and investors to put more investment into our game and therefore allow our elite athletes to become professional.

Charley Hull - golf

Charley Hull
English golfer Charley Hull, 21, is 26th in the world rankings and has earned over £1.4m during her career

I'd like to change the types of tees women and men play from.

The red tees are known as the ladies' tees and the men play off the yellow or white tees.

I still think there should be the same difference in tee positions, but instead of grouping them by whether you're male or female you should play off whichever tee suits your ability.

I used to play off the white tees with the boys when I was younger and it made me a better player.

Alex Morgan - football

United States players Julie Urtz and Alex Morgan
United States player Alex Morgan (right) is one of the best-paid players in the world

We need more acceptance of women's football on a global scale - both being seen as equals by men and having men, women, girls and boys promote women's football and accept us in the sport.

I feel like I have an amazing opportunity since I was a young girl to play this sport and do it in an all-girls team - but that's not always the case around the world.

I've seen so much progress only over the past 10 years since I've been with this team. I continue to see it making strides and national teams striving for equal payment and treatment.

Tammy Beaumont - cricket

Tammy Beaumont
Batter Tammy Beaumont was the player of the tournament when England won the Cricket World Cup in 2017

When I meet someone and tell them I play cricket, they say: "You get paid for that?"

That's one of the biggest barriers - that people don't see it as a career choice. Having to explain it is my job can be quite difficult sometimes.

The growth of the game has been exceptional but there is a long way to go to get that recognition and parity in terms of the way people think about cricket.

The kind of recognition and support for the sport needs to improve throughout the world.

Lizzy Yarnold - skeleton

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Yarnold retains Olympic skeleton title

The great thing about Olympic sports is that funding is the same whether you are male or female, but I do think longevity in the sport is easier for men than women.

I'd love to have an event in which the push isn't counted, so that we're lying down at the point of start. That would mean the women could compete against the men.

I feel that down times are much better for the men, but that's only because men are able to run faster, so I'd quite like a race that actually pitches men and women together to see how we'd compare. I think women would do absolutely fantastically.

Bryony Frost - horse racing

Bryony Frost
Bryony Frost, 22, is set to appear at the Cheltenham Festival on her horse Black Corton

Horse racing is a sport you can't do off your own back. Your biggest partner is your horse, and the hardest thing is to get on the best horse.

So in terms of female barriers, maybe it takes more time for women to get there.

I have been riding since the age of four, but it has taken me a bit longer than some of the lads. They get going at 16 or 17 and I'm 22, but I wouldn't change my past because the time I've taken to get here has made me stronger.

You have to be good enough to do it, whether you are a boy or girl, and our sport is very different. There are a lot of people involved and a lot of people you have to convince - and show you have good enough ability.

If you have talent you will get there, and the time it takes to get noticed is shortening.

Emma Pooley - cycling

Emma Pooley
Commonwealth and Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley, 35, has also competed at triathlon

The biggest challenge for cycling is how many women take it up.

There are still fewer girls that take it up than boys and I want to see that change, but the number of girls taking up cycling is growing faster than the number of men taking it up.

Cycling is far more than just about racing. It's a fantastic sport, it's good for your health, it's fun and it gets you places.

A bicycle is an amazing tool of empowerment for people of any gender.

There are lots of countries in the world where girls don't have time to go to school because they have chores and school is a long walk away. There are charities which can help give girls and boys access to bikes so they can get to school far quicker.

In our country we are privileged - most people can save up for a bike but not everyone can and that's something we should remember.

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