5 Reasons Youth Athletes Should Watch the 2023 Women’s World Cup
By Melissa Wickes
July 20, 2023
It’s officially that time—the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is here and we’re so excited to tune into the games! The exhilarating, month-long tournament starts July 20 and ends on Aug. 20 in Sydney, Australia.
The World Cup consists of the top players in women’s soccer and provides an opportunity for you to expose players on your team to talented, strong, women athletes as role models, so we highly recommend encouraging your team to tune in this year.
While it may seem like the Women’s World Cup has been around forever, this is only the ninth year. Not to mention, the US Women’s National team just won their fight with Congress for equal pay in 2022. We’re witnessing history in the making by watching these games.
Fun Fact: a LeagueApps investor, Julie Foudy, was co-captain of the US Women’s National Team during the first-ever Women’s World Cup in 1991—and they won! You can probably see why we have such passion when it comes to the Women’s World Cup.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way we do. 1.5 billion viewers tuned in to the 2023 Men’s World Cup, but only 1.12 billion tuned into the last Women’s World Cup, which was in 2019. While that breaks an audience record for the competition, there still are not nearly as many eyes on women’s sports as there are for men’s. According to GWI Sports, the most common reason for the disparity between men’s sports viewership and women’s is lack of coverage. The good news is, with every World Cup, we are presented with an opportunity to get more eyes on women’s sports.
Qualifying matches for this year’s world cup began in September of 2021 and ended in February of this year. The countries participating this year include New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland, Costa Rica, Japan, SpainDenmark, England, Netherlands, United States, and more.
What’s even more exciting is that many countries are sending their first ever teams to the tournament—which is a huge achievement! These first-time teams include Vietnam, Haiti, Republic of Ireland, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, and Zambia.
While some of the games may occur in awkward time zones compared to where you live, you can watch replays of every single game on the Fox Sports app or foxsports.com.
Here are just a few of the reasons you should encourage your team—no matter what age group, sport, or gender—to watch the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Promotes Exposure to Women’s Sports
The Women’s World Cup showcases the talent, skill, and athleticism of female athletes—something kids do not get exposure to as often due to the lack of coverage. Watching and supporting these matches can support diversity and inclusion within your team, as well as highlight the importance of gender equality and opportunities for women in sports.
Strengthens Mental Resilience
Watching high-stakes matches in any tournament can build excitement and investment in a sport, and the Women’s World Cup games are known to be intense and jaw-dropping. Watching these games with your team can help them understand the importance of mental resilience in sport, handling pressure, and overcoming setbacks—which are valuable skills both on and off the field.
Exposure to Role Models
The players made it to the World Cup through dedication and hard work—and this is an opportunity to expose your team to these amazing women with these important traits. Some teams have even faced extreme discriminatory blockers to get to the tournament, including Zambia. This team, amongst others, provides an important lesson on resilience and powering through hurdles.
Encouraging Discussion and Team-Building
Watching the Women’s World Cup together can create natural conversation starters and opportunities for your team members to discuss their favorite teams, players, and memorable moments. These discussions can enhance communication, team-building, and a sense of camaraderie among team members.
Learning Tactical Strategies
Anyone who has played youth sports has attempted to mimic a play, move, or style they picked up from their favorite player on TV as a kid. Soccer is an extremely tactical sport, and watching these high-level matches can offer insights into planning, strategy, and adaptability for your team.
If your team is new to the world of soccer and you’re struggling to get them invested, LeagueApps Social Impact Coordinator offers twenty three (yes, you read that right) ways to get invested in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, and it’s a great place to start.