8 Female-Driven Sports Movies - MissLJBeauty

8 Female-Driven Sports Movies

woman and man arm wrestling on tyre in gym
Image credit: Undrey/Shutterstock Ticketgum.com Guest Post

The term “sports movie” practically throbs with masculine prowess, doesn’t it? Say it and it’s certain to conjure up an image of athletic, sweaty men batting, throwing or asserting on the sports field. Well, not in 2018. Gliding on from the success of 2017’s smash-hit movie I, Tonya (per an article in The Guardian) women are taking to the screen to showcase their sporting prowess too. 

These sporting women do not care for invading masculine turf, because they are creating a turf all their own.  In turn, it’s possible when we say “sports movie” we’ll stop thinking male and start thinking power, skill and determination – no matter gender. In celebration of the cause, you may feel inspired to buy Roland Garros tickets. The next, big sporting event in 2018 to see both powerful women – and men – at their sporting best. 

If tennis isn’t your thing and you’re still in need of inspiration, watch the following female-driven sports movies. Covering every sport from boxing to baseball and roller derby league – you’re bound to discover a kinship sport where you can perfect your prowess too.   

Bend it Like Beckham

Released in 2002, Gurinder Chadha’s (Chadha, a female director and writer) Bend it Like Beckham is a vibrant and heartfelt “footie” flick. The film tells the story of a girl who rebels against her orthodox Sikh parents to join a football team. Beloved for its portrayal of a loving and nuanced Indian family, the film beautifully displays a young woman’s quest to succeed on her own terms. 

A League of Their Own

Released in 1992, A League of Their Own tells the story of two sisters who join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed. Backed by a supporting cast that includes Tom Hanks and Madonna, Penny Marshall’s classic showcases the uniquely complicated friendships and rivalries that exist between women. 

Bring It On 

Released in 2000, Bring It On centres around a champion high school cheerleading squad who discover its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school. Starring Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku, this movie has ascended to cult-classic status. It’s a fun, fabulous must-see! 

Whip It

Drew Barrymore made her directorial debut at the helm of Whip It, in 2009. An adaptation of Shauna Cross’ coming-of-age sports novel, Derby Girl the movie follows the story of an indie-rock loving misfit named Bliss. In discovering a roller derby league, Bliss finds a way to deal with small-town misery and learns to seize control both on and off the track. 


Girlfight, released in 2000, marked the film debut of two innovative women; igniting the careers of its writer-director Karyn Kusama and its star Michelle Rodriguez. It follows Diana, an unhappy teenager who begins training at a boxing gym only to achieve impressive success, blazing new trails for female boxers everywhere. 

National Velvet

In 1944, Elizabeth Taylor achieved her first lead role in National Velvet. The film follows Velvet Brown, a 12-year-old girl who adores horses and the only jockey who believes enough to ride a wild but gifted horse to victory, in England’s Grand National Sweepstakes. The film scooped two Oscars, and was nominated for five in total.

Million Dollar Baby

Winning four Oscars in 2005, 2004’s Million Dollar Baby is a must-see. Clint Eastwood plays Frankie, a hardened boxing trainer, while Hilary Swank plays Maggie, a woman determined to be great in the sport of boxing.  Packing an emotional punch: their relationship becomes one of the most meaningful friendships in either of their lives.