THERE has been a lot of reminiscing as we move into the 2020s and leave the 2010s well and truly behind us. One of the things I can categorically say is that the second 10 years of the 21st century brought many positive changes for women in sport, which I have to admit I never expected to happen.

Back in the early 2000s when I was with Scottish Women’s Football I would not have predicted the meteoric rise in the numbers of young girls playing the game, the increase in media attention and the fact many of our talented players are now on professional contracts all over the world – all this plus Scotland qualifying for the World Cup last year.

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This type of change has been reflected in so many sports and Scotland should be excited and proud of the many young sportswomen who are coming through and challenging on the world stage.

Some of our top performers include professional boxer Hannah Rankin, who held the IBO female super-welterweight title for part of last year; Seonaid McIntosh, the 2018 world champion in shooting’s 50m prone rifle and Britain’s most successful female rifle shooter of all time; and Catriona Matthew, captain of Europe’s 2019 Solheim Cup-winning team. The list could go on.

For me I think it is even more difficult to predict what changes will occur in the next decade. I speak often about the acceleration in gender balance, not only in sport but also in society in general. This is a different generation and young women are no longer happy to sit quietly in the shadows. They want, demand and deserve equality and it is amazing to see how they have successfully challenged and changed the status quo.

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It’s quite heartening looking back and I am full of hope for the future for Scottish Women in Sport. We still have some ground left to cover but I know the pace of change will never slow down now.