Sports Gazette

The sports magazine brought to you by the next generation of sport writers

Women in sports media: An interview with BBC Sport’s Poppy Treadaway

Last weekend saw Sky Sports run Women’s Football Weekend, an event with multiple televised women’s football matches.

It was a triple header on Sunday, with the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup Final, followed by two WSL clashes.

This ran from 1pm to 9.30pm on Sky Sports Main Event, with Rangers, Chelsea and Arsenal emerging victorious in their matches.

Women in sports media

Events such as Women’s Football Weekend present the chance for women to shine not only on the field, but off the field in areas such as the media.

One woman who is eager to make her mark in sports media is Poppy Treadaway.

Poppy has been a writer at Match of the Day Magazine, and is now looking to transition into presenting, working for BBC Sport in the upcoming Olympic Games.

Her sports journalism career was influenced by a major event that happened in her favourite sport, in her home country.

“I wanted to be a journalist, but never knew which avenue to go down,” said Poppy.

“I actually applied for the Match of the Day Magazine job the same day the Lionesses won the Euros.

“Sport is important to me and it’s always been important in my family. I’m from a long line of Arsenal fans, so working in sports, especially football, is really great.”

Working in women’s football

There has been a surge in the popularity of women’s sport in England, especially in football, where Arsenal, Poppy’s favourite team have attendances in the WSL that are astronomical.

Embed from Getty Images

Arsenal are averaging a home attendance of around 35,000 in the WSL, with attendances up by 43% for the 2023/24 season.

“The WSL attendances this season have been insane.

“I went to the Arsenal-Tottenham game at the Emirates. It was the highest attended match of that weekend across men’s and women’s football.”

Embed from Getty Images

“I love women’s sport and at MOTD magazine, I could take the lead on the women’s football, I had a lot of ownership over it, which was really nice. I wanted to work somewhere where I felt, as a woman, I could make a difference.”

“When I went to the Lionesses Media Day before the World Cup last year, I interviewed seven or eight of the players.

“Everyone who was there is like a hero to me. They were all very humble and I could tell they really care about their legacy and the importance of carrying that on for other young girls.”

Influence of positive role models

Poppy mentioned her sports media role models and was also keen to express how important playing sports is for young girls.

“Gabby Logan and Alex Scott are two people I look up to career-wise, two people I’ll hopefully get to work with in my new role.

Embed from Getty Images

“I hope we’ll see continuous growth in women’s sport and the media, and it’s important for young kids, especially girls, to see that growth.

“Sports is something which is often missed out with girls growing up. Girls hate PE in school because they don’t want to get changed in front of each other.

“Typically boys are a lot more comfortable with PE because they would have been playing football at break time or lunchtime already. So that’s the real difference, and it’s something I’m really passionate about.

Embed from Getty Images

Looking forward to the Summer Olympics

Poppy will be reporting for BBC Sport in Paris at the 2024 Olympic Games. An opportunity she is desperately looking forward to.

“The Olympics is everyone enjoying sport together. For as long as I’ve known, it’s not been very gendered.

Embed from Getty Images

“It’s always existed with men’s and women’s categories in it, so I feel like that opens it up a lot more, whereas it’s not like something is emerging as the women’s version of something, which has always been for men.”

March is Women’s History Month, and there are lots of historic figures in women’s sport that have prevailed at the Olympic Games.

Jessica Ennis-Hill, Denise Lewis, Victoria Pendleton and Sally Gunnell are just a few names, but one woman has won more golds than all of these historic Team GB athletes.

“Laura Kenny retired last week and I saw a video of her running through all the gold medals she’s won,” said Poppy.

“It was insane, and there’s so many inspiring female athletes that have competed for Team GB at the Olympics.”

Opinion of women’s sport coverage

There are many female pundits who have made a breakthrough in the mainstream media. Many of these pundits are former Lionesses and professionals who have played in the WSL and abroad.

Poppy welcomes the diversity seen in the media, but also wants men to learn more about the women’s game, and believes this is crucial for modern-day sports journalists to understand.

“I’ve seen Izzy Christiansen doing a lot of punditry on Premier League games alongside Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports.

“It’s really good to see because I think she offers a different perspective and insight. She’s great as a pundit, but we should also be seeing men doing punditry on the women’s games too.

“This would go a long way, as I think it opens things up a lot more and the balance should work both ways, with more men knowing about women’s football and vice versa.

Embed from Getty Images

“I think there’s often a narrative with women that if somebody’s a bad pundit, they’re bad because they’re a woman, but if it’s a man and he’s  a bad pundit it’s just a mistake, so there’s still a long way to go.”

Overview on women’s sports

Poppy mentioned wanting to watch other women’s sports, growing her knowledge on the topic as it’s not just football that’s seeing a rise in popularity.

“I don’t watch any women’s rugby, but I definitely should as it’s growing.

Embed from Getty Images

“I love tennis too because at the Olympics, there’s always been a men’s and a women’s side that’s existed.

“There’s also equal prize money at Wimbledon and the grand slams, which was quite a big change that Billie Jean King fronted.

Embed from Getty Images

“It’s a really exciting time to be part of women’s sports. I’m excited to carry on, explore different sports and find something where there’s a niche.”


  • Sam Sheppey

    Sam is a 22-year-old award-winning sports journalist from Hertfordshire with experience writing for club media with Stevenage Football Club, magazine articles with Greenways Publishing, and podcasting for talkSPORT and Birmingham City fan channel Blues Focus. Link to portfolio: