There’s something really magical happening in sport right now. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is unfolding here in Australia and it’s quite literally gripped the nation like no other event I’ve seen in my 26 short years. (The Aussie Matildas v French Les Bleus gained the biggest broadcast audience since Cathy Freeman chased down gold at the 2000 Olympics. The penalty shootout between the two teams reached a peak audience of 7.12 million according to preliminary data from Channel Seven.)
We’ve long been a country that so fiercely attaches itself to sporting culture - our take on patriotism - and until now I’ve never really felt like I fit in that world. Despite jumping on the bandwagon later than most and requesting commentary from mates at many intervals throughout the game, I’m still reeling from the display of community I witnessed watching Saturday’s game at my local. It was warm, it was inviting, it was super buzzy. (I was yelling at a TV, who does she think she is!?)
My TikTok FYP is now overrun with Matildas vox pops, commentary, and teary-eyed reactions from fans in the stands. I’m hooked. And I’m really hungry to see the aftermath of such incredible women dominating our screens. This is doing so much for the future of women's soccer; sponsorships, resources, closing the gender pay gap in professional arenas, but above all inspiring the next gen of girls and boys watching intently from the sidelines. Because if Sam and Mack and Mary (to name a few Tillies) can make their dreams happen, then so can you.
If you’re gasping for some action on those excruciating days between the semis and finals, we’ve taken away some of the guesswork when it comes to watching gutsy women in sport.
Fuel your FIFA fever with Go-To’s top soccer selects below, followed by some surfing, skating, and serious amounts of hairspray. ‘Cos we do it all.
Matildas: The World At Our Feet
Exploring the extreme bonds between coach and players as they practice in the lead up to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. A thrilling six-part behind the scenes look at Matildas’ fan favourites and newcomers, their personalities, careers, and what drives them to play.
She’s The Man
A classic. A no brainer. Rewatch this 2006 blockbuster featuring Amanda Bynes as Viola Davis, a talented soccer player who after her all-female school team is cut, disguises herself as her brother to infiltrate the rival all-male team. Cute, comedic, and highlights the strength of women when told no.
Bend It Like Beckham
The OG. Released four years prior to She’s The Man in case you’re picking up on similarities between the two films. A story about two very ambitious girls who despite their parent’s stereotypical wishes (in a gender, culture, and religious sense) have their hearts set on a career in professional soccer.
Kate Bosworth at her very best. A tough-on-the-outside, vulnerable-on-the-inside surfer girl has what it takes to win the title at Pipe Masters, if only she can get over the trauma of a near drowning incident, whilst training, working, supporting her younger sister. Throw a bubbling relationship with a handsome football player in there and you’ve got yourself a must-watch.
A biographical sports mockumentary with our golden girl, Margot Robbie, as the lead. This indie film follows the trials and tribulations of controversial American figure skater, Tonya Harding, as she rises to fame in the 90s. Her career begins to go violently off the rails when her ex-husband intervenes.
After a run-in with the law, rebellious Haley Graham (played by Missy Peregrym) is forced to return to the world from which she fled some years ago. Enrolled in an elite gymnastics program run by the legendary Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges), Haley’s defiant attitude slowly gives way to something that might just be called team spirit.
A group of 12 teenagers from various backgrounds enrol at the American Ballet Academy in New York to make it as ballet dancers, and each one deals with the problems and stresses (fatigue, depression, disordered eating) of getting ahead in the very competitive world of dance. Exploring female friendship, mentorship, and passion with the people you meet in a seemingly glossy industry.