Women's sport: Summer events 'can replicate London 2012'

Arsenal's Leah Williamson believes women's sport will get a lot of public support this summer.
Leah Williamson plays for Arsenal and England

Women's sport will see a groundswell of public support this summer like the London Olympics did in 2012, says England midfielder Leah Williamson.

Speaking at the launch of the BBC's #changethegame campaign, she said: "London 2012 was really inspiring. My family were lucky enough to see hockey and beach volleyball, and we were at the Olympic Park on super Saturday, when all those gold medals were won.

"This summer will come close to replicating 2012, with so many women's sports to invest in."

Arsenal player Williamson will learn soon if she has been selected for the England squad for the Women's World Cup, which will also feature Scotland for the first time.

In July the Netball World Cup will be held in Liverpool, with Wimbledon, cricket's Ashes, golf's British Open and Solheim Cup, the cycling Road World Championships and the Athletics World Championships all being covered by the BBC on television, radio and online.

Clare Balding, who will be part of the BBC's Wimbledon line-up, said the stars had aligned perfectly for women's sport to shine.

"We have a World Cup in our time zone followed by a Netball World Cup on home soil. Women can't become iconic figures if they're not in the spotlight. This summer they will be," she said.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: "We are not standing still, we are not content.

"The ambition and scale of our output has never been bigger but we want to get to a place where we don't talk about women's sport or men's sport - we just talk about the best sport."

The #changethegame women's summer of sport season aims to raise the profile of female athletes as well as change perceptions.

Gabby Logan, who will present the BBC's Fifa Women's World Cup coverage, said this was "unthinkable" 10 years ago.

"It's been a long time coming but the revolution is here," Logan added. "There is so much energy, you can feel the sense of passion and commitment to women's sport. I'm so proud to be part of the coverage."

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