The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are gearing up for a super Sunday of women’s sport.
Hot on the heels of England winning football’s European Championship last weekend, organisers hope to provide a further showcase for elite women’s sport on the penultimate day of the Games.
The women’s cricket, netball and hockey finals are among the highlights of the day, and Birmingham 2022 board member Ama Agbeze – who captained England’s netball team to Commonwealth gold on the Gold Coast four years ago – is relishing another high watermark for women’s sport.
“It’s been a great summer of sport and hopefully it invigorates people to step off their couch and try stuff,” she said.
“The Women’s Euro was an incredible competition and I think the Commonwealth Games is just piggybacking off that success and the atmosphere and just continuing on with it.
“It was great foresight of the organisers of the Games to put women’s Super Sunday on with all those sports, and it was great that the women’s football team won because they have basically played into the whole narrative of increasing the profile of women’s sports. Hopefully it just increases from here.”
Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, also a Birmingham 2022 board member, added: “It was incredible what the Lionesses did.
“For us, especially as a woman myself, I saw it as a showcase of how incredible women athletes can be and then forwarding that on to this Sunday too, it’s inspiring the next generation and showing women and children that you can do anything and achieve anything, we are there to be celebrated.”
England face a difficult task to retain their netball title, and must overcome an Australia side still reeling from a shock defeat to Jamaica in Saturday’s semi-final at the NEC.
Agbeze said that defeat for Australia had “sent ripples through the netball world” and backed England to triumph on Saturday.
“England have got almost 1,000 caps in their team, so in tournaments like this, you need experience,” she said.
“I actually think England have the edge over Australia, not just from that experience, but also Australia got a new coach in 2019, and she basically didn’t see her players for two years because they couldn’t move inter-state (due to the pandemic).”