Next up for Women in Sport Week, we turn our attention to Tess Arbez, a skilled Alpine skier proudly representing Ireland on the global stage. Tess has dedicated herself to mastering the slopes of Alpine skiing with determination and focus.

Since 2015, Tess has proudly worn the Irish colours, competing in five World Championships and participating in two Winter Olympic Games. Her journey mirrors the shifting landscape of women’s involvement in sports, showcasing the progress made towards gender equality and representation.

1: What advice would you give to young aspiring female athletes looking to reach high-performance levels in their respective sports?

My advice to any young female athlete aiming to reach a high level in her sport would be to follow her dreams, no matter how distant the endpoint may seem. Even for the best athletes, the journey is bound to be bumpy, and one should be prepared for the inevitable disappointments along the way. It’s important not to judge oneself too harshly, to stand up again after setbacks, and to strive to do better next time. Also, remember to find enjoyment in every training session or competition and to be patient.

2: In your experience, how has the landscape for women in sport evolved, and what positive changes do you anticipate for the next generation of female athletes?

Having competed in international skiing for 10 years, I’ve witnessed the evolution of the perception of women in sports. It’s very positive to see women athletes receiving increasing media coverage. In my discipline of Alpine Skiing, women athletes are recognized as equally skilled as male skiers. Many female sports stars have inspired me, and with greater visibility, there will soon be even more role models to inspire the next generation.

3: How do you balance the pursuit of high-performance goals with the importance of overall well-being and self-care as a female athlete?

Balancing high-level sport with general well-being is no easy task. To perform and flourish, an athlete needs to excel technically, physically, and mentally. If one of these aspects is lacking, it can affect performance. While many coaches prioritize technical and physical training, athletes must ensure they are in a good mental state. I’ve observed that girls, in particular, need to be in a positive psychological state to feel confident and perform well. When I felt a bit unhappy with my sport, I would take a short break, spend time with friends and family, and soon enough, the desire to compete would return. Once a competitor, always a competitor!

As Women in Sport Week celebrates the achievements of female athletes, Tess Arbez’s story stands as a testament to perseverance and success. Through her exploits in Alpine skiing, Tess embodies the increasing presence of women in traditionally male-dominated sports. Her participation not only inspires young athletes but also underscores the significance of inclusivity and diversity in the sporting realm. As we honour Women in Sport Week, let us acknowledge Tess Arbez and other pioneering women who continue to leave their mark on the slopes and beyond.

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