Women are upping their game when it comes to getting recognised for their sporting achievements.
Ever since London 2012, athletes like Jessica Ennis and Victoria Pendleton have shown the world what girls can do. Olympic and Paralympic medals in athletics, swimming, cycling, judo, boxing, equestrian, gymnastics, rowing and more have made it clear to the world that women are on a winning streak.
Some of our most glamorous Olympians have proven that even sporty girls like to wear make-up. And there has been a movement to encourage young women to follow in their footsteps by reassuring them that they don’t have to sacrifice style for sporting success.
Nowhere has this been more noticeable than in rugby league. Participation of women and girls in the sport has seen a healthy year-on-year increase of 42%, and a new National Women’s Squad, introduced in October 2014 by the RFL, will ensure Britain will put forward a team for the World Cup in 2017.
Sportswomen across the world are an inspiration due to their dedication and achievements, but we also look up to them because they refuse to be boxed off as muscle-bound carb-guzzlers. Instead, they champion femininity and revel in their role as the fairer sex.
Here are some sporting superstars who dazzle on and off the field.
Maria Sharapova’s breathtaking action on the tennis circuit keeps her on centre court, but she takes centre stage when it comes to serving up style.
The 27-year-old, who is currently ranked second in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association, holds five Grand Slam titles and is hugely respected in the sport.
At over six feet tall and with the kind of super-toned athleticism you’d expect from an international champion, Sharapova smashes the competition when it comes to style.
In July 2012, she famously told CNN: “When you look good, you feel good.”
She’s the sexy girl-next-door, happy to bare her back, shoulders or legs in strapless, backless or mini dresses. She knows how to make the most of her silhouette in intricately draped gowns or short, sassy skirts and, despite her height, never apologises for sporting towering heels.
She has fronted campaigns for Nike, Prince and Canon and has turned her talents to designing with a range of accessories for Cole Haan.
Gabby Logan is a former Wales international gymnast, but she’s much better known these days for her career in presenting. She’s all over our television screens, hosting anything from the World Cup in Brazil to ITV’s celebrity diving competition Splash!
At 41, she clearly has a confident body image and has learned what suits her best. She flips out over colour, wearing the kind of striking dresses that have fans clamouring to emulate her look.
She usually wears her shoulder-length blonde locks down and is incredibly feminine, allowing her natural beauty to shine through minimal, understated make-up.
Just like the rest of us, she loves a great beauty product and is keen to extol the benefits of her little jade roller. It rolls over facial muscles to eradicate frown lines and spots. She says: “A few minutes at night and a few minutes in the morning and, voila, your face wakes up!”
Anna Flanagan rose to fame at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where her team, The Hockeyroos, won gold for Australia. She’s just 22 years old, but she has already been named Young Player of the Year and is carving out a post-sport career in journalism.
She certainly looks the part too. She sports the number nine jersey when out on the hockey field, but scores a perfect ten when it comes to style.
Usually wearing her thick, dark hair off her face in a casual pony tail or a more glamorous up-do, Anna makes the most of her youthful, sun-kissed complexion. She is also not afraid to show off her athletic figure in form-fitting dresses that outshine the brightest stars on the red carpet.
She is a role model to scores of young women and was recently shortlisted for Australian Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Females award.
Middle distance runner Maggie Vessey also breaks the glamour mould. She has brought her sense of style to the track and is running rings round the competition.
The 32-year-old Californian has ditched the standard shorts and vests uniform commonly associated with athletics and often lines up on the starting blocks wearing a host of standout looks.
Unfettered by the clothing constraints that come with sponsorship deals, Vessey teamed up with LA designer Merlin Castell to create a range of outlandish competition gear that includes Aztec designs, cutaways, asymmetric patterns and vibrant colour.
She told Runner’s World magazine: “I do want to draw attention to the sport and, maybe give people who aren’t necessarily interested in track and field a reason to be interested. But it’s a very authentic expression of who I am.”
Charlotte Jackson has made a name for herself as a sports presenter and currently works at Sky Sports News. However, she’s also a regular in the celebrity magazines thanks to her gorgeous eye for fashion and her glamorous lifestyle.
The 35-year-old former lacrosse and tennis player keeps her body in tip top condition. Her flawless figure was certainly on show when she took part in ITV’s diving competition Splash! last year. She wore a range of amazing bikinis during her progression through the show and made the semi-finals despite breaking her toe during training.
She is fond of showcasing her shoulders and arms in racy halter necks or one-shoulder gowns, and she accentuates this part of her body by teasing her golden tresses into side sweeping styles or effortless up-dos.
Her eyes are usually dark and dramatic, balanced with a nude lip.
We’ll be seeing a different side to Charlotte’s style as she’ll soon be dressing for two – she’s expecting her first child with fiancé Chris Coleman in December.
Snowboarder Jenny Jones was the golden girl of the Winter Olympics 2014. She was the first Briton to win an Olympic medal in a snow event when she earned Bronze in the slopestyle at Sochi.
The powdered slopes of Val d’Isere are more likely to conjure up images of sizzling snow chic, but Jenny showed us how to be cool in the extreme.
Huge anti-reflective goggles, wooly hats and body encompassing thermal suits could not detract from Jenny’s talent and overwhelming sense of style.
Always fresh faced, she lets her clear skin, winning smile and zest for adventure shine through. With barely more than a slick of lip balm, Jenny still manages to look red hot.
She’s got a chance of making this year’s shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year – perhaps she’ll sparkle in bronze.