News   |    August 3rd, 2021


I was against the Olympics taking place without fans as it diminishes everything the games stand for. Normally you can expect a tremendous atmosphere at every event and for the big events tickets are at a premium as was the case in London in 2012. Recent surveys indicate that most of the Japanese population think it was a mistake to hold the games against a background of rising Covid infections and many fear what effect this will have going forward on the health of their nation.

Nevertheless, now that the games have started the opportunity exists for sportsmen and women to become national heroes and particularly those who win a precious gold medal. For them it is the culmination of what is now five years hard work which has been beset with disruption because their training regimes will have been geared to a summer 2020 event and not a summer 2021 one.

Not winning the European Championship was a big disappointment for football fans in this country after all the ‘coming home’ hype even though the team performed admirably.

Without tempting fate maybe, the GB Women’s Team can step into the breach. They have guaranteed their progress to the knockout stages of the women’s football competition with a 1-0 victory over hosts Japan in Sapporo. This gives them the advantage of being able to rest players in the final qualifying game if they want to.

Ellen White scored the winner, taking her tally to three goals so far in the tournament, heading home a cross from full-back Lucy Bronze to secure the victory. As with the men’s team they took the knee before kick-off in an empty Sapporo Dome.

The women’s game has made great strides in recent years and will be boosted even further next season when the Women’s Super League is broadcast on Sky TV.  In my role at Integral Sports Management, we now represent two women players in Kallie Balfour and Ciara Watling, and I can only see that number growing in the future.

It would be a great boost to the team if they could see fans here at home back them in the same way as they did the men’s team and hopefully that will happen in the later stages of the competition.

Cometh the hour cometh the women!

Image – Getty Images.

Peter Varney - Chairman - Integral Sports Management

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