by Christina Avina
Every now and then, the phrase “you play like a girl” is tossed around. Most people use this phrase as an insult or to imply that someone is weak. However, what they fail to realize is that this phrase is very degrading to female athletes. Male athletes have been known to take the spotlight when it comes down between genders, and are additionally paid more than female athletes. After growing up playing sports all of her life, Nikki Bondura, also known as Nikki B, has developed a passion for encouraging women to play sports and influencing young female athletes. Such passion led her to starting her weekly podcast, sponsored by MaxPreps, “Play Like A Girl.”
Every week, Bondura produces a podcast covering many topics, such as noteworthy female athletes or having a round table discussion based on essential subjects of the female sport world. The purpose for this podcast is to inspire and give female athletes something to relate to. Being an athlete can be difficult as is, but to be a female athlete is a different kind of struggle that only some can experience. Bondura touches upon subjects, including the drama, peer pressure, relationships and more issues that every athlete will face. The host herself speaks upon her own personal experiences, since she is familiar with the countless troubles and hardships young athletes face daily.
Bondura started off playing soccer and basketball, but later on, she lost interest for the two sports and decided to try golf. After discovering her hidden talent in golf, she began to grow and succeed as a player. In her junior and senior years of high school, she became captain of the varsity girls golf team and later attended a division one school to further her athletic career. Despite becoming a professional athlete, she decided to take a turn in her career and pursue expanding female athletics. “I’m so invested in women sports because the female athlete isn't highlighted as much as the men are,” said Bondura in podcast 1. After gaining experience from media and journalism classes, Bondura turned to social media to help promote her blogs, which would soon result in the creation of her podcast.
In the sport industry, women are often talked down to and found unequal, or even boring, in comparison to men. Unfortunately, this can affect and damage young female athletes’ confidence and outlook on their desired career. Previously set societal standards have made many women feel like men are superior in sports, including basketball, soccer, snowboarding, wrestling and other athletics. This podcast was created for the sole purpose of influencing, motivating, and giving athletes an outlet to understand and learn from. With the variety of topics discussed, Bondura is able to talk and educate on importance subjects such as picking a college, furthering sport careers, discussing complication in the sports, but most importantly, giving credit to the hard-working women who deserve it.