Women's Sport: Helen Housby says sportswomen need to accept more criticism

Netball star Helen Housby has said she thinks women in sport need to get used to taking criticism.

Yahoo Sport reports that Housby, who scored the famous last-minute goal to secure the Roses their Commonwealth gold medal which catapulted netball into the mainstream, said: “Men have been paid a lot of money and seen as the professional gender, so they’ve copped criticism.”

She added: “As women, we need to cop that pressure. You can’t be too soft, if you’ve had a bad game you’ve got to stand up to criticism.

“This isn’t a fantasy, you need a bit of edge and pull factor. Sport is the epitome of drama and we can be a bit too polite in the way we say things.”

The New South Wales Swift player highlighted how it applies to all sports, not just netball. She said: “Any coverage is good, even if you’re talking about a bad run. Phil Neville has been absolutely hammered when the Lionesses have played badly, quite rightly.

“If someone tells me I’ve had a bad game, I’ll say ‘It’s fine, I’ve had a shocker’. It’s good people are paying attention. We weren’t even in the newspapers a few years ago.

“It might be tough, it might make you emotional, but you have to deal with it. It’s easy to hide behind abuse when there’s constructive criticism out there.”

Housby applies this to herself as well, explaining how she was disappointed with the Roses’ third-place finish at last year’s netball World Cup in Liverpool. She said: “A bronze was amazing but it wasn’t the medal I was there for, so it was a failure.

“The medal was still important to the girls and it can be very hurtful to hear it called a failure but it’s not what I wanted anyway.”

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