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Thank you Mothers, for giving your children the gift of sport.

Mothers Day blog from GGWCUP Co-Founder Rikke Ronholt.
photos Emil Lyders.

One of my earliest and happiest childhood memories is being allowed on the bench at half time of one of my mother’s basketball games.
Climbing  onto her lap and feeling the heat radiating from her body, her heart pounding against my back through her soaking wet jersey, inhaling the smell of her fresh sweat while listening to her labored breathing, as she prepared to go back onto the court. I felt so safe, so at home, so included in her world.

Both her and my father, who was the men’s the National Team coach, always brought me along wherever they went.  I feel like I literally grew up in an endless string of basketball courts, playing in a corner while watching practice after practice, game after game. They probably couldn’t afford a nanny, and I probably complained about it a lot. But looking back, they gave me the greatest gift of brining me up to feel that I belong in the world of sport. It made me never doubt, that a woman should be physically active and strong. It made me proud and unapologetic about being taller than most of the boys in my class, and unconcerned that those feminine curves just never really showed up.

Later, when I realized that my talent wasn’t in basketball but in track and field, I discovered that being the only black kid on the track, meant I was also the only one who actually looked like the stars we saw on TV, and that everything that made me a misfit in school, was what made me fit in as an athlete!

Eventually I also got to bring my own sons along. My oldest probably won’t remember watching me win my last national title. But they know that a mother is one that sweats, does pushups and who will kick their butts in a race over any distance –at least for a while.

Studies have shown, that many mothers stop being physically active after having their first child, which is not only a disaster for the mother, but also for the child. Because numerous studies have also shown the close connection between the activity level of mothers and the activity level of their children. Knowing the multiple social and health benefits associated with sport, it is worth fighting to keep the mothers in the game!

So on this Mothers Day: Here is to all the moms who give their children the gift of seeing women owning the world of sport and who bring them along, letting them know, that this world is their world too.

Tag woman you know, who did not stop sweating, just because she became a mom!