Inspiring women's sports movies to watch this winter

Hilary Swank stars in Million Dollar Baby (Million Dollar Baby movie)
18:32pm, Sun 10 Nov 2019
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Here are ten women's sports films packed with inspirational, entertaining, thrilling storylines which you should be watching over the winter period.

Fast Girls (2012)

Can the Fast girls be the FASTEST girls? (Fast girls movie)

Starring: Lenora Crichlow, Lily James, Bradley James

Talented sprinter Shania (Lenora Crichlow) is from a rough part of London and has always competed against the more middle-class Lisa Temple (Lily James), and the two have a bitter rivalry. 

They must put their differences aside and learn to work together if Great Britain are to hold any hopes of winning the 4x100m at the World Championships.

Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Emma Stone (left) and Billie-Jean King (right) at the US Open ahead of the movie release in 2017 (PA Images)

Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrew Riseborough

Biographical film about the 1970s fight the women’s tennis tour underwent in order to gain the recognition it deserves with the notorious Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) at the helm.

In one of the most memorable tennis matches of all-time, King takes on Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) in the ultimate battle of the sexes.

Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

Parminder Nagra (top) and Keira Knightley (bottom) play two female footballers (PA Images)

Starring: Keira Knightley, Parminder Nagra, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Teenage football prodigy Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is the daughter of strict parents who do not want her playing organised football. 

Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Keira Knightley) discovers Jess playing football in the park and convinces her to join her team, but Jess must use elaborate excuses to hide the secret from her family.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Hilary Swank won the best Actress award for her role in the film (PA Images)

Starring: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

Aspiring boxer Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) seeks the help of veteran coach Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood), who is usually distant from everyone except his associate Eddie “Scrap Iron” Dupris (Morgan Freeman). 

Dunn and Fitzgerald form a close bond throughout a turbulent series of bouts as Fitzgerald battles to be the best.

She’s the Man (2006)

Amanda Bynes (left) and Channing Tatum star in the hit comedy (She's the man movie)

Starring: Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Vinnie Jones

Based loosely on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, teenage soccer star Viola (Amanda Bynes) takes up her twin brother Sebastian’s place at boarding school so she can play for the boys team after the girl’s team at her school is cut.

Viola faces difficulty when she begins to fall for roommate and captain Duke (Channing Tatum), who is hopelessly pining after Olivia (Laura Ramsey), who is actually in pursuit of Viola, who she thinks is actually Sebastian! Still following?!

Whip It (2009)

Drew Barrymore (left), Ellen Page (centre) and Shannon Eagen star in the film adaptation of Derby Girl (slashfilm)

Starring: Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig

Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) is desperate to escape the clutches of her beauty pageant obsessed mother (Marcia Gay Harden) and finds her escape when she discovers a roller-derby team, 'The Hurl Scouts'. 

Having to keep her new hobby hidden from her family, Bliss is at risk of her secret being spilled when a championship game and the Bluebonnet beauty pageant clash in the diary. Based on the book 'Derby Girl' by Shauna Cross.

I, Tonya (2017)

Margot Robbie at the UK Premiere of 'I, Tonya' (PA Images)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

Based on the true story of talented figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), the first American woman to complete the “triple axel” in a competition. Harding is initially forced into competition by her overbearing mother (Allison Janney) but Tonya’s life and successes become tarnished as her ex-husband (Sebastian Stan) plans a vicious attack on Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver.)

Soul Surfer (2011)

The film is based on the inspirational story of Bethany Hamilton (PA Images)

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt

Based on the true story of inspirational teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) who loses her arm in a shark attack while surfing. 

With the help of her parents (Helen Hunt & Dennis Quaid) Bethany must overcome her fears in order to return to the sport she loves. 

Then, when the devastating tsunami hits Thailand in 2004, she realises there might be something more that she can do with her life.

Black Swan (2010)

Natalia Portman won an academy award for her lead role in the film (PA Images)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel

Aspiring ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman) realises her dark side when she becomes first choice to be the new prima ballerina in the opening production of 'Swan Lake'.

She develops a somewhat dysfunctional friendship with Lily (Mila Kunis), who is perfectly suited to the role of black swan, and their relationship takes a twisted turn.

A League of Their Own (1992)

Madonna swings big in the hit movie (PA Images)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna

A fictional account of the real-life professional all-female baseball league. 

The league is established in the midwest after WW1 depletes the stock of young athletic men in America. 

Has-been coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) takes charge of the team alongside Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz), while sisters Dottie (Geena Davis) and Kit (Lori Petty) get into a spat about joining the team. 

But can they put aside their differences to ensure it all comes together when it really matters?