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Women in Sport Week 2017 – Pioneers and Women Leading the Charge Now!

“Women in Sport Week is a national awareness week providing an opportunity for everybody involved with playing, delivering, working in, volunteering or watching sport to celebrate, raise awareness and increase the profile of women’s sport across the UK.”

(link to website)


Women have been undertaking some amazing challenges throughout history.

Junko Tabei

Like Junko Tabei who was the first woman to summit Everest in 1975 as part of the Japanese Women’s Everest Expedition (JWEE) headed by Eiko Hisano. The ladies on the trip only secured funding at the very end and most of the cost of the trip (equivalent to a year’s salary) had to be saved and worked for. Junko was told she should be staying at home rather than climbing mountains. She was also the first woman to ascend all Seven Summits by climbing the highest peak on every continent! She died last year aged 77, but left behind her mark with her work as the director of the Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan, which focused on the preservation of mountain environments.

You can hear about modern day mountaineer Jo Bradshaw on the Tough Girl Podcast as she discusses her summit of Everest. Click here...


Jeanne Baret is recognised as the first woman the circumnavigate the globe and is thought to have completed her adventure in 1775! She joined the expedition before it set sail disguised as a man, calling herself Jean Baret. She enlisted as valet and assistant to the expedition's naturalist, and was an expert botanist. Considering the time she lived in, she was well respected and lived to the grand age of 67.

You can hear about modern day adventurer Sarah Outen MBE on the Tough Girl Podcast where she discussed her journey from London all the way around the northern hemisphere and back to London by rowing, kayaking and cycling! click here...


Ann Bancroft is a woman who likes to lead the way! She was the first woman to cross both polar ice caps (north pole and south pole to you and me). She was also the first woman to ski across Greenland. In 1993 she led a four-woman expedition to the South Pole on skis; this expedition was the first all-female expedition to cross the ice to the South Pole. Then in 2001, Ann and Norwegian adventurer Liv Arnesen, became the first women to ski across Antarctica! She is a bit of a legend in her own right!

To hear about Felicity Aston MBE who was the first women to ski alone across Antarctica, go to Tough Girl Podcast: click here


And finally, how about the first woman to swim the English Channel? Gertrude Ederle was a competition swimmer from America, an Olympic champion in swimming and a former world record-holder for progression 100 meters freestyle, progression 200 meters freestyle, progression 400 meters freestyle, progression 800 meters freestyle and progression 4 × 100 meters freestyle relay. Not only that, on 6 August 1926 she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 14 hours and 34 minutes with the previous best set by a man at 16 hours, 33 minutes!

To hear about modern day open water swimmer Lisa Williams go to Tough Girl Podcast: click here


To find out more about Tough Girl Challenges

Rae Red, to find out more visit her blog; click here


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