11 Of The Most Influential Female Athletes Who Inspire Us Every Single Day


There’s no question that female athletes are strong. From battling it to the top of the world’s highest peaks to swimming in treacherous conditions to running marathons at knockout speeds, women have proved time and time again that they’re capable of achieving seemingly impossible physical feats.

In short, they’ve made the impossible, possible.

But female athletes aren’t just strong, they’re powerful. They break down barriers. They fight, with all their might, for equality. They transcend sports to become cultural game changers.

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the women who pioneer future generations and empower us to achieve our goals. 

The following women have gone above and beyond in their sport, and their legacy will continue to pave the way for athletes - and women - everywhere. 

1. Imo Boddy

At just 22 years old, Boddy became the youngest woman to run the length of the UK, earning her an official world record title. The gruelling challenge saw Boddy run 60 km every day for 22 days, covering 1,320 km in total!

Adding to her list of achievements, Boddy completed her first Ironman - that’s a full-throttle challenge consisting of running, cycling and swimming for those of you who don’t know - at just 17 and also ran seven marathons in seven days. Oh, and she also created her own version of Ironman, which now takes place every year at her former school. So, yeah, she’s pretty iconic to say the least.

The dedicated endurance runner and fitness professional hopes her passion and own experiences will inspire people to push beyond their limits, get uncomfortable and realise their body’s hidden potential.

2. Karé Adenegan

Winner of the 2018 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, Adenegan is a British wheelchair athlete, competing at the 2016 Summer Paralympics, aged just 15, winning one silver and two bronze medals.

Continuing her successful streak, she set a new world record in 2018, sprinting to victory in the T34 100m at the London Müller Anniversary Games.

Fast forward to the 2018 Para World European Athletics Championships, Adenegan won her first gold medal in a senior competition, becoming the only athlete to defeat Hannah Cockcroft OBE DL in a T34 women’s wheelchair race. In 2021, she went on to win a further two silver medals at the Paralympics in the 100m and 800m competitions.

3. Femke Bol

A triple-threat on the athletics track, when Bol isn’t standing on podiums at major championships, she’s busy breaking records.

At the 2022 Golden Spike meet, Bol set a new world record time of 36.86 seconds in the 300m hurdles. Not only did it make her the first woman ever to run the event in under 37 seconds, it also slashed a full 1.3 seconds off the previous record. Meanwhile, at the 2020 Olympics, Bol became the third fastest woman of all time in the 400m hurdles, and the first Dutch athlete to win a medal in the event.

Her long list of medals include three European golds, two silver World Championship medals and one Olympic bronze to name a few.

Feminist Icons

4. Alice Dearing

Alice Dearing, one of Great Britain’s top female swimmers became the first Black female swimmer to represent Britain at the Olympics, when she competed in the 10km marathon event in 2021. She is only the third Black swimmer to represent Great Britain competitively.

In 2020, the then 23-year-old, co-founded the Black Swimming Association. The charity advocates for greater diversity in aquatics, and has the support of Swim England.

5. Jessica Gadirova

In 2020, Great Britain’s women’s artistic gymnastics team won their first team medal in 93 years with the help of Gadirova. But in 2022, she showed that she can also make it on her own.

As well as leading her nation to team silver, Gadirova set herself apart when she became the first British woman to win an individual all-around medal at a world championship competition. Not entirely satisfied, she then went onto win a gold in the floor exercise too. 

Gadirova was later voted Young Sportswoman of the Year by the Sunday Times, and nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

6. Coco Gauff

An American professional tennis player, Gauff rose to prominence when she defeated former world number one and seven-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams in the opening round of Wimbledon 2019. 

Gauff won her first Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour singles title at the 2019 Linz Open, aged just 15, making her the youngest singles title-holder since 2004. Since then, she has won three WTA Tour singles titles and six doubles titles. 

Reaching her first major singles final at the 2022 French Open, Gauff is currently ranked number six in the singles (she’s previously ranked as high as number four) and number two in the doubles - having previously reached number one just last year.

Inspirational Female Athletes

7. Nina Matejić

Breaking barriers from the outset, Matejić sought success outside of her homeland, aged 16, when she started a World Cup qualifier for Serbia in Germany, scoring within three minutes. It was here that she also had a trial for Bayern Munich, training with girls several years her senior. 

Having played with boys until 14, the footballer joined Serbia’s senior women’s league, scoring 39 goals in the 2020/21 season for Požarevac - including 16 in the six-game relegation play-offs. It was then that she earned her international promotion.

With seven goals in three games, Matejić finished as top scorer in the first qualifying round of the WU19 Euro, where Serbia topped its group ahead of Italy, Hungary and Wales.

8. Dina Asher-Smith

The fastest British woman in recorded history, Asher-Smith has made - and is still making history. A South London native, the 27-year-old has countless medals to her name, ranging from 2019 200m World Champion to Olympic bronze in 2016 and 2020 and gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 European Championships and 2019 Diamond League. 

In Summer 2015, she became the first British woman to run the 100 metres in under 11 seconds.

9. Misty Copeland

As the first African-American female principal dance at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Copeland is a pioneer in the world of professional dance - and beyond. Among her many impressive titles: author, actress, diversity advocate, brand ambassador and real-life hero to young dancers.

Copeland, who didn’t take up ballet until the late age of 13, is big on elevating the next generation of dancers. She served on the advisory committee for the ABT’s Project Plié, which provides training and mentorship to dance teachers in radically diverse communities.

Female Athletes Inspiring The Next Generation

10. Aliyah Boston

Having just turned 21, Boston broke the record for the most double-doubles in South Carolina women’s basketball history.

As the reigning national player of the year, it should come as no surprise that Boston continues to break records. Her 14 rebounds in a game against Arkansas, helped the Gamecocks break another, as they posted the highest rebounding margin ever in a Southeastern Conference (SEC) game.

Boston joined the Gamecocks’ program back in 2019. Right away, she didn’t disappoint, averaging 12.5 points and 9.4 rebounds in helping the Gamecocks to a 32-1 record. She then began her ascension to becoming a household name, winning the SEC’s Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards.

11. Tabby Stoecker 

Now a world champion skeleton athlete, careering down the ice track at speeds of up to 125 km per hour is not something Stoecker dreamt of as a kid.

The-22-year-old’s love for sport stemmed from Circus Arts, where she soared to new heights flying the trapeze. In 2019, she spotted an ad for the Discover Your Gold programme on Instagram. She was picked, started training and last year, won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships - just a month after her first competition!

In an interview with Glorious Sport, Stoecker talks about wanting to empower girls going through puberty. She draws on her own experiences, explaining she’s keen to debunk the myth that having a period and developing breasts will hinder your ability to achieve your goals in sport.

Mission Possible Free T-Shirts | AYBL


So, you’re here about our FREE limited-edition tees? Bravo!

The good news is, they launch today at 3pm GMT / 4pm CET / 10am EST. 

But there’s only a limited quantity up for grabs, so if you want to avoid disappointment, you’ll have to get in quick!

Remember, you’ll need to donate £1, £2, £5, £10 or £15 and pay for shipping. All proceeds will be donated directly to Women’s Sports Foundation, so they can continue their vital work in helping women and girls reach their full potential in sport, and in life. 

In other words, you’re getting an ultra cute tee and supporting a good cause. That’s a win-win in our books!


International Women’s Day isn’t just about celebrating the women who have broken records or fought for world championship titles. It’s celebrating every woman, everywhere - and that includes you too.

Here at AYBL, we make every effort to ensure that every single day of the year - that’s all 365 of them - is about empowering our female community. And today, especially, we want you to feel inspired to establish your own goals as part of a wider motive to help you become the best version of you.

Make any Mission Possible this International Women’s Day.