Women’s sports are growing in popularity


ST PAUL, Minn. — Echoing through the Xcel Energy Center is more than cheers from fans — it’s the growing support for women’s sports.

More than ever before, women’s hockey is more accessible. Just take a look at the Minnesota State High School League Girls Hockey Tournament.

“It’s much different now than it was 10 years ago,” said Leslie Rimstav, who was at the stadium cheering on her daughter. “You see a lot more of women’s sports in the media nowadays than even 10 years ago.”

Back then, girls hockey might not have made air.

“It has really ramped up the PWHL,” said Rimstav. “It has been amazing for the ladies.”

RELATED: 2024 Minnesota Girls State High School Hockey Tournament scores

Thankfully, times have changed.

“The lack of coverage had consequences on women in sport, in terms of if you’re not showing the women, they have a harder transport equal play,” Courtney Boucher is the Assistant Director of Research and Programming at the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center. “They have a harder chance stability, sponsorships, longevity within the sport, because no one’s watching.

Fans say they wish women’s sports was on the news a long time ago.

According to Boucher, 10 years ago only 4% of the coverage was going to women’s sports. Now we see it’s about 15%.

Jackie Petersen and her family are cheering on her granddaughter’s school at this weekend’s state girls hockey tournament, especially since this would have never been an option for her when she attended school. She is the grandmother of a child who’s school is represented at the championship.

RELATED: PWHL Minnesota already having impact on young hockey players

“There wasn’t such a thing,” she said.

Her granddaughter, Cece, says that wasn’t fair.

“It’s sad because girls should be able to do whatever boys can do,” she said.

But now, young athletes can see themselves in the game.

“It makes me feel inspired like I can do it too,” said seventh grader Mary Koenig.

And that’s a message that should be heard loud and clear.

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