Celebrity

Alex Scott On The Future Of Women’s Sport

Joseph Sinclair ©

We’ll warn you now, Alex Scott’s lockdown routine may put yours (and ours) to shame. From learning Spanish to making soups, she’s really packed a lot in this past year, as well as holding down her usual presenting jobs on BBC Sport and Sky Sports. It’s not really a surprise though, considering what a dedicated sportswoman she was and the strict fitness routine she once followed. Alex has had a career many could only dream of, playing for Arsenal’s women’s team, as well as making 140 appearances for the England national team and representing Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympics. Since retiring from football in 2017, she’s turned her talents to presenting, with credits including the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, and she took to the dance floor with a spot in Strictly Come Dancing’s 2019 line up. We caught up with Alex to discuss mental health, how she dealt with life in lockdown and the future of women’s sport.

On mental health

“Fitness is a big part of my mental health – simply put, it makes me feel better, it helps get my mind set for a productive day, and it allows my brain to switch off from work. It lets my mind be in the present and focus on what I need to do to get through the run or bike class I am doing. I love listening to music or a podcast while I’m running. I’ve always been vocal about the benefits of therapy and that is now a constant part of life for me. Therapy has helped me immensely. I went straight from retiring from one profession straight into the pressures of broadcasting in the public eye – learning techniques, and finding that balance to ensure my mental health takes priority has been important. And of course – friends and family – there’s nothing that cheers me up like drinks and laughs with the girls; that’s therapy in itself!”

On life in lockdown

“I think, like many people, life had its ups and downs in 2020 – especially during lockdown. I live alone so concentrated on having a routine as much as possible. This involved running, working out on my Peloton bike (which I love), making soups, Zoom calls with friends and learning Spanish! It’s really important for me to keep busy. I am in the very fortunate position of being able to work online via Zoom meetings, and in Covid-safe studios for broadcasting. It’s an honour to work in broadcasting at a time like this – whether it’s Sports Relief, Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY), The One Show or my football presenting – I think trying to bring some joy and entertainment into people’s homes is much-needed. That said, it’s always important to be open and honest and let people see when it may not be all smiles. Like everyone, I’ve struggled.”

On the future of women’s sport

“The future looks bright! While we have a long way to go, we have made so much progress already, especially in recent years. Bigger sponsors are noticing and investing in women’s sports, which shows there’s increasing appetite for it. Views are up on televised games, more than 11 million people tuned in to watch the England women in the semi-final of the World Cup on BBC, pre-Covid ticket sales were up for women’s professional games, and not just football. Shining a light on women’s sport will continue to be my personal and professional goal.”

To read the full interview with Alex Scott, pick up a copy of the March issue of Health & Wellbeing magazine.

vickywarrell