''Why Wouldn't You Support Women?'' | Philip Doyle & Darragh Greene Pledge Support for Female Athletes

Irish international athletes Darragh Greene and Philip Doyle chat about women's sport as they become the newest Her Sport ambassadors. In their own words "why wouldn't you support women's sport?"

''Why Wouldn't You Support Women?'' | Philip Doyle & Darragh Greene Pledge Support for Female Athletes ''Why Wouldn't You Support Women?'' | Philip Doyle & Darragh Greene Pledge Support for Female Athletes
Leona Kenny

‘Why wouldn’t you support women’s sport?’

Simple yet compelling words from Irish Olympians Darragh Greene (swimming) and Phillip Doyle (rowing).

Often the most significant barriers to engagement for men in the gender equality conversation is that many simply do not recognise the existing gender inequalities. Others might argue that ‘no one cares’ about women’s sport or it’s simply ‘not good enough.’ For these two athletes who train side-by-side with Ireland’s top female stars – the athleticism, dedication and work-rate of female athletes is never questioned.

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“The girls that we train with are phenomenal. We do everything on a percentage basis, and they are right up there at the top. They compete with us side by side at the same level. We train with them, we spar with them, we paddle with them, we race with them. With so many strong female athletes around me, I look up to them. They are amazing.” says Doyle.

There is merit in demanding more male voices advocating for women’s sport. After all, how can we drive change if we leave half the population out of the conversation? 

” There is that narrative of, ‘oh, there’s the women giving out again’. Having women in powerful positions means nothing if there’s that male perception of women ‘always giving out’. In my opinion, you could be the one voice in that crowd that can turn the odd head. That’s why I am doing this,” declared Doyle.

Watch the full interview here. Subscribe to Her Sport’s YouTube channel for more videos, follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbnnPimfyMI

“The girls that we train with are phenomenal. We do everything on a percentage basis, and they are right up there at the top. They compete with us side by side at the same level. We train with them, we spar with them, we paddle with them, we race with them. With so many strong female athletes around me, I look up to them. They are amazing.” says Doyle.

There is merit in demanding more male voices advocating for women’s sport. After all, how can we drive change if we leave half the population out of the conversation? 

” There is that narrative of, ‘oh, there’s the women giving out again’. Having women in powerful positions means nothing if there’s that male perception of women ‘always giving out’. In my opinion, you could be the one voice in that crowd that can turn the odd head. That’s why I am doing this,” declared Doyle.

At the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, Mona McSharry became the first Irish swimmer, male or female, to make an Olympic final for 25 years. Her teammate Brendan Hyland spoke glowingly of the Sligo woman.

“Mona is a superstar,” he said. “I always tell my mates, ‘Did you ever see those stories about Ronaldo, his work ethic and his professionalism?’ That’s what she’s like. I’ve been around a long time, I’m 26. I literally watch her and think she’s phenomenal’. She deserves everything she gets. She’s deadly.”

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Longford’s Darragh Greene is on the same wavelength, agreeing that further support and visibility is crucial to change. On the playground, boys are kicking footballs around aspiring to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo but for girls that visibility isn’t there. 

“There’s probably not too many girls thinking that because they don’t see it as an option for themselves,” said Greene. “When I was growing up, it would be normal to hear of girls dropping out or not continuing in their sport. Or they don’t have someone to aspire to. No wonder it’s hard to keep females in sport, especially up to a high-performance level if they can’t see anyone else do it.”

Darragh Greene and Philip Doyle are athlete ambassadors for Her Sport.

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