Since starting Sporting Chic, I've been asked several times about what our overarching goals are for this venture. The more I research and develop ideas for athletes to interview, the more I've realized that I have not given enough attention to other female professional sports. I've spent my soccer career thus far in a soccer bubble. Being involved with this blog has made me not only want, but need to change that. One of the overarching goals of Sporting Chic is to create a community where ALL female athletes can come together and share our stories, experiences, and triumphs.
Through my work over the past few weeks, I have realized the plethora of women’s leagues that exist within the US. I have tried to make contacts with women in these leagues and I’ve realized how distant we are from one another. Does a lacrosse player in the UWLX know what the NWSL is and more importantly, do they watch or attend games? Does a WNBA athlete know about the National Women’s Hockey League? How can we bring these communities together in a show of support and solidarity?
This is where Sporting Chic can come in. Yes, it's been difficult to make connections with women in other leagues who play other professional sports. But we want to bridge the gap. We can create connections that will ultimately result in mutually beneficial support for one another.
We need to set an example for all of the girls who look up to us in saying that women’s sports are COOL. What’s cooler than one of our peers deciding that she’s going to make a career and a living off of the sport that she loves? There’s no better example for young girls who love sports than to express to them that their dreams are not only possible, but something that could sustain them financially someday.
By exclusively watching men's sports, I'm not living up to some of the things that I'm saying I stand for with this blog. I want to become someone who can support other females in their pursuit of athletic greatness because I believe that what we are doing as female athletes is important for young girls who play sports. I believe that we are providing for them an example of something extraordinary. In this way, perhaps they will learn to reach higher and dream bigger. Maybe instead of accepting mediocrity, they will grow up with the "insane" dream of being a professional athlete.
I understand that not all of the women’s professional leagues are in a place financially yet to be a sustaining career. But I now can see that I have a responsibility to begin better supporting my fellow female athletes. If I have a choice between the NBA and the WNBA on TV, I’m going to choose the latter. Not for any feminist agenda, but because I want to support the women who have experienced some of the same issues that I have in my own journey. I want their experience in professional sports to be better because I truly believe that women’s sports are one of they keys to developing young girls into strong, confident, intelligent women.
I’ve also made an effort to follow all of these leagues and especially my local teams on social media. I’m providing a list of what I’ve discovered so far and some of the people that I’ve enjoyed “getting to know” via their social media pages. What I ask of our readers is to take a leap this week. Follow a new team, watch a new sport on TV, or go to a game. Women’s professional sports need support and it’s up to us to continue spreading that message.
A forewarning: I haven't included all women's professional sports here. I'm simply starting this process of becoming a better fan. If you'd like to see another organization featured here, please let us know. We don't wish to discriminate against any female sports organization, but only to highlight some of the ones that we have made some personal connections with.
NWSL Soccer Teams:
Seattle Reign, Portland Thorns, FC Kansas City, Houston Dash, WNY Flash, Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC, Orlando Pride, Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars
Follow Emily Sonnett of the Portland Thorns and USWNT.
NWHL Hockey Teams:
Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, New York Riveters
Follow Hilary Knight of the Boston Pride and USA Hockey
WNBA Basketball Teams:
Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Chicago Sky, Phoenix Mercury, New York Liberty, Indiana Fever, Seattle Storm, San Antonio Stars, Dallas Wings, Washington Mystics, Atlanta Dream, Connecticut Sun
Follow Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun.
UCLX Lacrosse Teams:
Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Long Island Sound, Philadelphia Force
Follow Danielle Estrasco of the Boston Storm
Women's Tennis has 2 Championships the first week of January- Brisbane International and Shenzhen Open.
Women's UFC provides the return of Ronda Rousey on December 30th against Amanda Nunes.
NCAA College Winter Sports include Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Rifle, Skiing, Swimming and Diving, and Indoor Track and Field.