After tuning into the Women's Football World Cup, a 90-year-old woman discovered a newfound zest for life, showcasing the event's remarkable power to inspire across generations.
Even though our society has come a long way in terms of making opportunities equal for men and women, we still have a long way to go in the realm of sports. So, for most women, the recent Women's Football World Cup stands as a significant source of inspiration for women to pursue their dreams, even if they are not necessarily athletes. The efforts made by the athletes to compete and train in what has been predominantly a sport played by males is an admirable feat. Fara Williams, a former English footballer who played for the English Women's national team, shared her own story of a friend's mother-in-law who was inspired by the English Women's team, the "Lionesses" before they went into the finals against Spain.
Williams wrote on Twitter, "My close friend has just sent me this [lease take a moment to read. This is the effect the @Lionesses are having on our nation! Proud of the team." In the tweet, we get to see an attached screenshot of the Facebook post made by Laura Downes, who wanted to share the inspirational story with the English women's team. Her decision to use social media clearly worked out as the post got noticed and shared multiple times.
Downes talks about how her mother-in-law, aged 90, has lost her will to live. It got to a point where she refused to eat or drink, causing her family a lot of worry. The old woman got a chance to watch a match after a call. Downes writes, "She's never liked football, not ever." After watching the match, something changed in her prompting to clean her room and eat a hearty roast beef meal for dinner. Upon seeing the match, her mother-in-law admired the athletic physique that the players had and imagined how hard it could be for them to maintain it. Seeing them motivated her to "stop wishing and waiting to die" and begin to live her life again. She concluded by saying that the old lady was eagerly looking forward to the final match.
So happy to hear this! We always talk about inspiring the “next” generation and rightly so. But honestly, so much about this team and especially Sarina, inspires me. They’re inspiring women of every age. Well done @Lionesses - we are so proud of you all x— Rachel (@OlicanaLass) August 18, 2023
Not gonna lie had a tear in my eye reading that. Incredible story. It just shows how much the Lionesses mean to so many people.— Steven Blake (@stevenblake92) August 18, 2023
The post on Twitter witnessed many users share their thoughts on the woman's change of behavior in the comments section. @patriciaclegg commented, "Many of these old ladies have fought prejudice much of their lives. I know a lot who were forced to leave school early because 'it's not worth educating girls' and obliged to go into jobs they hated. Many a dream went unfulfilled. They see our female footballers and feel inspired."
Another user, @leafytedd, said, "My late mother was a big proponent of women's sport and I wish she had lived long enough to see a women's football match top the ten o'clock news in a twelve-minute long feature." There were many other comments from individuals who shared that women in their families, especially older ones, found the sporting event to be inspirational. While the world of football still has a long way to go to make the sport more inclusive for women, the progress made so far is quite impressive.