He attempts to make women's sports a mainstay in every household after seeing his daughter encouraged by seeing other women in sports.
Women's sports have been slowly and steadily making progress over the last two decades and we're seeing more and more young girls being encouraged to take up sports. in the last decade. In a 2021 survey by Statista, 42% of the people said that they enjoyed International women's sports and carried forward their interest in local leagues. Still, the impact and popularity are not at all close to what men's sports enjoy. The commercial presence of men's sports is so large that oftentimes it is all that small kids have access to. This can be a problem as it deters many young girls from pursuing sports. To give girls proper encouragement to follow the path they want, Marta Vieira da Silva actively tries to be a role model for them because she knows how hard it is to grow up without one in sports. Along with her, a father from Canada has also decided to take on the responsibility through his social media presence to bring more attention to women's sports in general, as reported by Good Morning America.
All of this began when Mike Underell's daughter came up to him and asked him "Hey Daddy, do girls play sports?" Underell was shocked at the query because his daughter took swimming classes and engaged in sports, and he always thought that she saw herself as an athlete. He did not think that she was having a crisis viewing herself as an athlete. Underell assured her that girls do play sports, but he knew that was not enough. As a father, he wanted to make a visible difference in his daughter's surroundings by putting women's sports in the spotlight.
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Underell started small by taking a WNBA subscription. He immediately noticed a difference in his daughter Lily, as she came to watch the highlights. She was focused on them and found joy in seeing women excel in something that she wanted to take up in the future. He captured one such moment and it went viral on his TikTok platform, named @sportyspotlight, with more than 500k views. The father was joined by his adorable daughter Lily at the end who mentioned her favorite women athletes and also stated how she, like her father, loves to cheer for Canada and Seattle in basketball. His next step is to use his presence on social media to get other dads involved in this effort. He wants women's sports to become as conventional and mainstream as the men's game. For this, he wants fathers to come together and make women's sports a mainstay in their house.
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Underell is making sure that he is creating a healthy environment, and not making her feel like she has to choose sports now that he is making such an effort. He wants it to be her choice but does not want her to be deterred from it just because she does not see women pursuing sports around her. He wants her to know that playing sports as a woman has value.
Through his platform, Underell wants to do more and support other women like Marta Vieira da Silva in bringing awareness and popularity to women's sports, so that the next generation is free to choose the path they want to undertake without any doubt or hesitation.