Social media has its substantial drawbacks, disproportionately affecting women, but it can be used as a vehicle to drive positive change, says Lizzy Banks.
Banks was speaking to Eurosport’s Orla Chennaoui for a special programme - ‘International Women’s Day - Women in Sport’ - which featured a panel discussion between the cyclist, England’s former netball head coach Tracey Neville, and former tennis player and pundit Annabel Croft, which will be broadcast to mark the global event on Monday.
The panel discussed the disproportionate levels of trolling that women in sport endure, with Croft detailing the viciousness that she has endured on social media.
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However, Banks, the Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling rider, noted its potential to also drive positive change.
“I think there is definitely an unfortunate negative echo chamber within social media for cycling, but also I think there's been a lot of positivity.
“If I think back to a year ago, I don't think there was the demand to be able to watch the women's races; whereas now if the men's race is live broadcast and the women's aren't, there's a huge number of voices online saying: ‘Hey, why haven't we got this, where is it?’
And so for me, it really is indicative of a shift in what people are wanting to watch and the hunger, and demand for the women's side of my sport. And for me that can only be a positive thing.
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Eurosport is celebrating International Women’s Day every day from Thursday, March 4 to Monday, March 8. On the day itself, we will have a women’s sport takeover on our social channels and a special show hosted by Orla Chennaoui which will be broadcast at 7pm on Eurosport 1, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
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