Women's Sport: Seven inspiring sportswomen films to stream on Netflix

“Avoid all unnecessary social contact.”

That was the advice of Boris Johnson on Monday evening as he addressed the nation’s ever-rising fears surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. Although self-isolation and working from home may seem great for the first day or two, it soon becomes a rather mundane way of life, and the lack of live sport for entertainment doesn’t help either.

If, like us, you’re suffering as live sport also goes into self-isolation, then perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere for your sportswoman-fix. Streaming service, Netflix, has a whole host of entertaining films and documentaries all about inspiring sportswomen, and to save you from trawling through the never-ending selection of movies – we’ve picked out our favourites.

First Match
Elvire Emanuelle plays Monique, a teenage girl from Brooklyn who, having spent years in foster care, decides to join an all-boys wrestling team in the hope of rescuing a relationship with her estranged father.

Directed by Olivia Newman, the gritty coming-of-age drama won the LUNA/Gamechanger Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2018.


This documentary follows eight inspirational women in India who have rediscovered themselves through running. Having all suffered from low self-confidence, the hour-long film explores how running can help reduce self-doubt and help ease the pressures one faces from society, as it looks to motivate more women to follow their passion and take up running.

Although only 11.7 per cent of Indian marathon runners are female, all eight women in the film, which was funded by the India Amateur Runners Trust, are now all professional runners.


The Hockey Girls
This Spanish series is more or less exactly what it says on the tin. Having lost their coach, the all-girl hockey team appeal to the club president for help but are met with a whole host of sexist excuses and quickly realise that those in positions of power are only bothered about helping the boys team.

What follows is brilliant backlash as the girls work together to try and overcome the sexist bias that their team face. As the series deepens, we learn more about each character and how their relationships intertwine with the storyline.

Originally filmed in Spanish, the series is dubbed with English voices, but if you can get past the sometimes out-of-sync sound, it’s well worth a watch.


Loosely based on the real TV series, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, that aired for five years during the eighties, the series Glow follows a group of women, mostly out-of-work actors, who are trying to make it in the women’s professional wrestling circuit.

From the makers of Orange Is The New Black, Glow is full of similar sisterly humour and misfit friendship, but this time it’s dressed in eighties anthems, colourful outfits and a whole lot of sporting girl-power.

The fourth series of Glow is expected to be released this summer, meaning now is the perfect time to catch up with the plot so far. Watch as Ruth Wilder, played by Alison Brie, and co defy odds to become female wrestling royalty.


This 50-minute long documentary explores the few female pilots who are excelling in the world of aerobatics. Filmed during The 27th World Aerobatics Championships in Texas, Skydancers follows the female participants as we learn of the struggles they’ve faced whilst paving out a career as a pilot.

Director, Fredric Lean, has captured the resilient spirit of some of the world’s best aerobatic pilots whilst shining a light on the sexist discrepancies that still lie within the sport.


Mary Kom
Priyanka Chopra stars in this biographical film as the Indian Olympic boxer, Mary Kom. Against her father’s wishes, Kom pursued her passion for boxing, choosing the sport over her relationship with her father when faced with given the ultimatum. After her victorious performance in the 2002 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships, Kom marries, has children and applies for a government job, only to make a comeback later down the line at the 2008 AIBA Women’s World Boxing.

Mary Kom is the perfect balance between an informative sports documentary and an inspiring, emotional piece of film.


Lorena: Light-footed woman
Light-footed woman, or better known as in Spanish, la de pies ligeros. This short documentary follows 22-year-old Lorena from the Tarahumara mountain range in Chihuahua, Mexico who has followed in her father’s footsteps to become an ultramarathon runner.

Girls her age are often expected to stay at home and provide for the family, but Lorena just focuses on her running. As the brilliant cinematography demonstrates, Lorena doesn’t just run on flat roads, but through dusty mountain ranges, dirt tracks, city streets and rocky paths, all in her long skirt and sandal that she’s won three ultramarathons wearing.

Although the initial trailer is only available in Spanish, Netflix have released the full documentary with English subtitles. 

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