Venus Williams is stunned 45 percent of girls are dropping out of sports over body confidence issues.
The iconic 43-year-old tennis player — who has amassed seven Grand Slam singles titles and 14 Grand Slam doubles titles alongside her sister Serena Williams as well as two Grand Slam mixed titles — added there is “no feeling” like the one she feels when winning in her game. She said that it has given her confidence in every aspect of her life.
“I had no idea some of the statistics of girls dropping out of sports. Forty-five percent of girls globally — because of body confidence issues — drop out [of sports] before the age of 14. I didn’t think those numbers existed anymore. So hearing that was very sobering,” she told People at the Flag Football for Change: Dove x Sports Legends Venus Williams and Steve Young event in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl weekend.
Williams added she wants her fans to know she’s on “team body confidence.”
“We need women in sports,” Williams stressed.
“I know what sports [have] done for me, not only for a career — let’s not even talk about that — but for feeling confident. When you score a goal, achieve something, put the work in and get there, there’s no feeling like it,” she said.
Williams added that her tennis participation helped her “achieve that sort of confidence and belief” in herself,
“It’s huge. And I don’t think anything teaches that as well as sports,” she added.
The athlete said maintaining a healthy level of confidence “helps you to shift your focus.”
“[It’s] what girls need,” she stated.
Opening up about her work as a flag football coach in conjunction with Dove, the tennis star said she hopes to inspire those involved with “my experience in sports and in life and my story and even my career.”
“I think the language of sport is universal. It’s the same language, even if it’s a different sport,” she said.