Ahead of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next month, BBC sports presenters Alex Scott, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan are the cover stars of Good Housekeeping's August issue. They chat to the magazine about the summer of sport ahead, being positive role models, and a much-needed return of the feel-good factor for everyone.
On why the trio works, Clare explains: "Look at us! I think we represent three different types of women: I’m the oldest with no children, Gabby has two and Alex doesn’t have any yet – all trying to do our jobs and juggling our lives as best we can."
On whether there’s more opportunities in sport for women now, Alex and Gabby opened up about how the believe things have changed for the better in terms of representation.
"When I first transitioned from football to broadcasting, I was often spoken about as ‘the female pundit’," says Alex. "I would always respond by saying, ‘No, I’m just a pundit.’ The ability for young girls to see strong, positive role models is so key.
"If they can see it, they can aspire to be it. Sport is sport, and I think that’s important, not just when it comes to gender but also diversity and inclusivity more broadly, for instance, with the Paralympics."
Gabby adds, "I’ll always remember in 2012, we went to the Paralympics as a family. A few weeks later, we were on the way to school one morning when [my son] Reuben shouted, ‘I’ll be Jonnie Peacock and you be Usain Bolt!’ I loved that, because he didn’t see any differences between the two; he just saw two athletes.
"There’s been so much progress made in terms of women’s representation, but for me, it’s about thinking more widely. Sport should be accessible to all."
They also revealed how they had coped in lockdown when sport, and their work in sport came to a halt during lockdown.
"The magic of sport, and of the Olympics, is that it unites people, so it was tough to have that taken away," says Alex. "I was fortunate to still be working across a number of TV shows during the lockdowns, but I remember discussing on The One Show early on that it felt like everyone was on a journey of constantly trying to search for an end point, which was possibly the hardest thing. That’s why it will be so brilliant to have a summer of sport, to get that feel-good factor back."
Clare explains, "I had a bit of an epiphany, because I realised I don’t have to be defined by my work. I think a lot of people feel like me – this quest to keep going, keep proving yourself.
"But lockdown has helped me immensely to deal with a slower pace and it was actually nice to come off the wheel completely. I wrote, walked, read, played a lot of golf, watched a lot of telly and thought, 'Do you know what... I think I’ll be okay when I retire!'"
Read the full interview with Gabby Logan, Alex Scott and Clare Balding in the August issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale the 30th of June. It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect.
Alex, Clare and Gabby are part of the BBC’s Olympic Games line-up. Watch the action from Tokyo 2020 live on the BBC from 23 July
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