What does it mean to be a sporty woman in the 21st century? From the launch of Net-A-Sporter, serving up sports clothing for fashionistas, to the introduction of #plankie as the new Instagram selfie for yoga bunnies; exercise for women has finally gone mainstream.

But if sweating has never been so hot for female celebrities, then why are there still so many obstacles for girls and women when it comes to sport? Why do girls still hate school sports lessons? Why is sport consistently defined as male territory, with TV cameras replicating the male gaze as they search out the most beautiful women in the crowd? Will women ever flock to watch football, rugby and boxing in their millions? Or turn up to the park with friends for a Sunday morning kickabout? How long do we have to wait to see the first multi-millionaire female footballer or basketball player?

Eat Sweat Play is an engaging and inspirational work by sports writer Anna Kessel.


This book was sent to me for free to review by Pan Macmillan, but that does not affect my views in any way. These thoughts are all my honest opinion.

I picked this book up about half way through my exams when I hadn’t read a book in over a month and knew I wouldn’t have that much time to read. This book immediately drew me in and was perfect for me to pick up and put down in the midst of all my revision. This is the first non-fiction book I’ve read in a long time as I’m a self professed non-fiction hater, who would want to read about reality, when you could live in a fictional world?

I’m so glad I bucked my recent trend and picked this book up. I was sent an email from Pan Macmillan offering this book to me and since I’ve recently started to exercise more with a struggle, I felt like this book was written directly for me and I know I won’t be the only girl who feels that way.

This book has already prompted me to start a conversation with my parents at the dinner table about women in sport. I am forcing my dad, who never reads to read this book, shortly followed by my mum. I want to shout about this book from the rooftops and force everyone I’ve ever met to read this, regardless of their gender.

This book is powerful, inspiring and packed full of amazing stories of amazing women, who are Olympic athletes, mums, commentators and everything else you can imagine. This book has a common thread interwoven through the many stories it tells and that is so relevant to me and any other woman who has ever thought about sport.

I would recommend this book to any woman regardless of her current relationship with sport. It makes me want to go and try every sport out there until I find one I fall in love in. It makes me want to watch women’s sport and start conversations about it. It makes me want to change the world through sport, and most importantly makes me believe that I can.

100% a five star read for me!