International Women’s Day celebrates the most inspiring women across the world.

Two years ago, Mersey Sport Live discussed Merseyside’s top female athletes.

This year, we’re back to do it again.

This time with a list of new names of the most inspiring athletes born and raised in Merseyside and the North West.

Sophie Ecclestone

Cricketer Sophie Ecclestone was born and raised in Chester, Cheshire. She attended Alvanley Cricket Club in her youth, where she honed in on her cricketing talent. Sophie represents England, Lancashire and UP Warriorz, and is the world number 1 bowler in both T20Is and ODIs. She has just been playing for her country at the T20 World Cup, where England were knocked out in the semi finals by South Africa. She is now playing in the inaugural Indian Women’s Premier League for UP Warriorz, winning their first game against Gujarat Giants.

Nikita Parris

Footballer Nikita Parris was born and raised in Toxteth, Liverpool. She joined Everton’s centre of excellence at the age of 14, representing the club up to 2015 when she moved to Manchester City. From there, she transferred to Olympique Lyonnais, before moving to Arsenal in 2021 where she played for a year before joining current club Manchester United. She was also part of the Lionesses squad that won the 2022 Women’s Euros. Throughout her career, Parris has netted 128 goals at club level and a further 17 for her country. She has won 9 club trophies and 3 at international level as well as being names Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2019.

Missy Bo Kearns

Born and raised in Liverpool, footballer Missy Bo Kearns plays midfield for Liverpool Women. Aged only 21, she made her Liverpool debut in March 2019 and has made 49 appearances for the club and scored 8 goals since. She was a part of the Liverpool side who won the Women’s Championship. Earning Liverpool promotion back to the WSL in the 2021/22 season. On November 17th 2021 Missy Bo Kearns became the youngest ever player to captain Liverpool Women at age 20 in a Conti Cup game against Blackburn.

Anyika Onuora

Anyika Onuora is a sprint track and field athlete from Liverpool. Now retired, she competed in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay and the 4x400m relay. She represented Great Britain at 8 events throughout her career, including gold medals at the European Championships in the 4x100m relay in Zurich in 2014 and the 4x400m relay in Amsterdam in 2016. She won bronze in the 4x400m relay at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after overcoming a severe battle with malaria only 10 months before competing.

Beth Munro

Beth Munro is a Paralympian competing in Taekwondo from Liverpool. She only took up the sport in 2019, but her dedication meant she was ready to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, only her second international competition. She won silver, becoming Great Britain’s first Paralympics medallist in taekwondo. A perfect inclusion in this list for International Women’s Day.

Lottie Dod

Lottie Dod was born in Bebington, Cheshire in 1871. She dabbled in many sports, but is most well known for her tennis accolades. She won Wimbledon 5 times throughout her tennis career. Dod decided to take up other sports, including golf. She won the British Ladies Amateur in 1904, and is to this day the only woman to win British tennis and golf championships. Following this success, Lottie Dod decided to take up archery, where she won silver in the Double National round at the 1908 Olympic Games.

Sylvia Gore

Born in Prescot, Merseyside, footballer Sylvia Gore made history when she scored England women’s first ever goal. This came in their first official match against Scotland in 1972. She retired from playing at the age of 36, and became the manager of Wales women’s team. She moved on to become secretary to Liverpool FC Ladies. Gore earned an MBE in 2000 for Services to Girls and Women’s association football. In 2014 she was given a Hall of Fame award at the National Football Museum. Due to her being appointed the first female director of the Liverpool County FA. She became an ambassador for Manchester City Women in 2016, although she died later that year.

Mia Brookes

Snowboarder Mia Brookes was born in Sandbach, Cheshire. Aged only 16, Brookes became the youngest ever snowboard word champion when she won gold in the Slopestyle event at the Snowboard World Championships in Bakuriani in February 2023. She is the first Brit to win a snowboard slopestyle world title. She became the first woman to land a CAB 1440 in the competition while performing her winning routine.

Beth Tweddle

Gymnast Beth Tweddle was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but moved to Bunbury in Cheshire when she was 18 months old. She was the first British female gymnast to win a medal at the European Championships, World Championships and the Olympics. She has won a total of 14 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 6 bronze medals throughout her career, including a bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London for Uneven Bars.

(Featured image by MerseySportLive reporter Hana Basir)