FATHER’S Day was celebrated by many across the UK yesterday – and quite rightly so, as we have so much to thank our fathers for.

Dads, for me, are pivotal to their children’s sporting life, and their influence and support – particularly for their daughters – can make the difference between continuing with sport or opting out.

I think those who have been part of the movement to get women’s sport onto the platform that they deserve, lifting the profile of sport for girls, have given more dads the motivation needed to get involved.

In the early years from my time with Scottish Women’s Football, the presence of men at games was sparse and most of them looked like they would have preferred to be at home washing the dishes, while suffering silently till the game was over. At that time you could scan your eyes over the “crowd” and identify most of the supporters individually. Now it’s a different story, and I am delighted that the Scottish women’s national team is building a loyal following and regularly has attendances in their thousands.

Father-of-four Andy Murray is an exceptional example of understanding how to change the perception of women in sport and challenges, without a second thought, any statement he is asked to comment on which he feels is sexist.

This is no doubt inherent and comes from his upbringing. That is another role that dads can now play – normalising women’s sport for their sons and ensuring they challenge inequality when they encounter it. This is a powerful combination for change and not only for sport, but for the wider culture within our society.

Kieron Achara, the former professional basketball player and now chair of Netball Scotland’s equality advisory board, submitted some powerful quotes to Scottish Women in Sport for our Instagram account, which we shared yesterday, alongside some lovely pictures of him and his children.

He has three statements to make – be involved: participate in physical activity and sport with your daughter, make it fun and allow them to believe that they can achieve anything they want to achieve; be challenging: challenge stereotypes, help your daughters understand that sport is for everyone; and be inspiring: introduce your daughters to a wide variety of sports and female sporting role models.

Great advice from someone who has achieved at the highest level in, and continues to support, sport for all.