Scottish sportswomen outperforming men, says Thistles captain Claire Maxwell

Scotland finished ninth at the Commonwealth Games in 2018
Scotland finished ninth at the Commonwealth Games in 2018

Scottish Thistles captain Claire Maxwell says women are outperforming men in Scottish sport and recognition and funding should better reflect that.

Like the Scotland women football team, the Thistles netball side will take part in a World Cup this summer, the tournament taking place in Liverpool next month.

"Women in sport have been doing fantastic things, especially over the past five years. I would say women have been outperforming the males in many sports," Maxwell told BBC Scotland.

"You look at Scottish athletics, there's many females risen to the top of their game; the women's football, the first time in history qualifying for the World Cup; and you've got ourselves. Our sport's developed hugely in terms of participation levels. We've seen about 75% increase since 2014, which is massive for our sport."

Scotland women's appearance in France is the first time a Scottish side has featured at a football World Cup since the men's team made it to France in 1998.

"It's easy to talk about money because that's widely known," Maxwell said. "We don't get as much media coverage as other people. We don't get the sponsors. Sometimes you don't even get the recognition that potentially you would do if you were a male football player or a male athlete potentially.

"I would love to see where netball could go in the next 10 years. We just want to show people that we deserve all the recognition. We work extremely hard. Because we're not professional we have to get up at 6am, we have to train, go to work and the obviously come back and train again at night.

"There are not many male athletes who are at the top of their sport who actually have to do that same commitment that we have to so hats off to any female who competes at a high level."

Scottish Netball chief executive Claire Nelson says it's important women's sport keeps "pushing forward".

"Girls are more active at primary school than boys so we've got all the component parts there to make a really healthy active nation and a vibrant women's sports platform," she said.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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