Sport is failing mothers at the top of their game

Sport has a long road to travel in how it supports women athletes in motherhood, according to piece in the Daily Telegraph by LJMU student Daisy Ruddock.

The ‘long-read’ article reveals discontent among professional sportswomen in cycling, football, rugby and sailing with several women claiming they were made to feel they shouldn’t expect to be at the top of their sport once they become mothers.

“The piece was my idea, I applied for a two-week placement at the Telegraph and as part of the application I had to pitch an idea for an article,” explains Daisy, a MA in Sport Journalism student in the Screen School.

“I'm particularly interested in women's football and a recent story that caught my eye was Icelandic footballer Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir who won a landmark case against former club Lyon after they failed to pay her salary while on maternity leave.

She says after discussing it with one of the editors, they decided to branch out into looking at a variety of sports and Daisy spoke to a variety of women who have encountered troubling issues when returning to sport after having a child.

“I was very happy with how the piece turned out,” added Daisy. “It's obviously an important subject and I was happy to be able to shed a bit of light on areas where women's sport needs improving.”

Daisy and her fellow students at LJMU get invaluable experience writing self-researched articles for the university website – Mersey News Live – and she has written a few pieces on Liverpool Football Club.

But they all face fierce competition to break into the industry full-time, and securing a national newspaper byline is a major boost.

In her words, Daisy says: “This has definitely made me more interested in journalism. After working in a newsroom, I can see myself doing something like that in future because I really like writing. I'm only just starting on the job search, so I'll have to see how it goes!”

Well done, Daisy!


Daisy’s Daily Telegraph article was published May 17 and titled ‘Post-birth, I’ve almost felt like I’m unwelcome’ – mothers being let down on return to sport.


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