|The month of April is dedicated to women´s sports, so we asked our players about their favourite sports and other female athletes. Here we hear from Rookie Jacqueline Hedwall, from Sweden.|
Jacqueline Hedwall is one of our Swedish rookies and a familiar face on tour as the twin sister of Caroline Hedwall, the 2011 Rolex Rookie of the Year and victorious European Solheim Cup player. Here, Jacqueline discusses her other sporting passions. Find more information about her here.
Do or did you practice any other Sport apart from golf?
Right now I’m not practicing any other sports besides golf, but when I was younger I practiced a lot of sports, such as kick boxing, soccer, and track and field. Soccer was the sport in which I was the best though.
What was your level at those sports?
When I was 14 years old, I was among the 35 best soccer players in my age and in my city (Stockholm).
What could you tell us about following Sports?
Soccer – It’s definitely one of my favourite sports…I can watch it every day!
Tennis – I’ve always loved playing and watching tennis. If I’m not playing golf I’m definitely stuck in front of the TV when Wimbledon and Australian Open are on.
Beach volleyball – Love watching it on TV, but unfortunately I can’t jump high, so it has never really been my sport.
Horse riding: I know we have some really great horse riders in Sweden, like Malin Baryard and Sara Algotsson but that’s all I know.
Surf – I don’t know too much about it, but one day I would like to learn how to surf. I got to know a few golfers that could surf while being in Australia, so I’ll hopefully learn it one day. It looks amazing when watching someone that can really surf.
Basketball – I watched a few games when I was in college. It’s fun to watch a team sport were one individual player can really make a difference.
Ski – I love skiing. I competed a bit when I was around 10 years old and nowadays I try to ski one week every year. And when the pros are racing on TV I watch it!
Figure Skating – I’ve always been impressed by figure skaters and how they move on the ice. It’s fun to watch them during the Olympics, but unfortunately, I don’t know too much about how they earn their points and how they get judged.
Sailing – I know Sweden have won some medals within sailing in the Olympics throughout the years, but I don’t know much about the sport.
Field Hockey – I’ve never really watched it, but it’s definitely a sport that I wish I knew more about.
Gymnastics – impressive athletes. I watched a few meets in college and it was cool watching them do movements I can only dream about doing myself.
Swimming – I know a few swimmers and it’s impressive how many sessions they have in a day and how they work that out with everything else they have to do.
Compare golf with other sports you like. Which one do you think is the toughest?
There are so many different ways to look at it and I think every sport is tough in its own way. I’ve heard that soccer is the number one sport in the world where the athletes get most injuries, but practice wise I have to say that gymnastics seems to be the toughest. However, mentally golf definitely has to be among the toughest sports, since one or two stokes can make a huge difference at the end of 54 or 72 holes.
Who is your favourite sportwoman outside golf? Why?
My favourite is definitely Anja Parsson. She is a former alpine skier form Sweden. She recently retired from skiing but her fighting spirit and will to achieve greatness even when she had been in crashes was unbelievable and that’s something that’s hard to forget after seeing it on TV.
Tell us names that you know of top Sportswomen? What do they have achieved?
Carolina Kluft, former heptathlete and long jumper form Sweden. She won the Olympic heptathlon title in 2004. She is also a three-time World and double European heptathlon champion.
Anja Parson, former alpine skier from Sweden. She is an Olympic gold medalist, seven-time gold medalist at the World Championships, and two-time overall Alpine Skiing World Cup champion. She has also won 42 World Cup races.
Marta Silva – Soccer player from Brazil. She has been named FIFA World Player of the Year five consecutive times, 2006 - 2010. She was a member of the Brazilian national teams that won the silver medal at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. She has also won the Golden Ball award, the Golden Boot award and she’s the all time Women's World Cup goalscorer.
Have you met any of them? Who would you like to meet?
Unfortunately, I’ve never met any top sportswomen outside golf. I would love to meet Anja Parson to ask what was going on in her head while preparing for a race, Carolina Kluft to see how she works out, or to meet Marta Silva at a soccer field and learn some cool tricks.
Is there any sport that you would like to practice professionally if you weren’t dedicated to golf?
I love soccer and since I was quite good at it when I was younger I would definitely have tried to pursue my dreams as a professional soccer player if I wasn’t dedicated to golf.
What is your opinion about women’s sport? Which sport do you think is more popular? And less popular (from list above) that would deserve more recognition?
Women’s sport can be a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately, there isn’t much women sport shown on TV, so I watch mostly men’s sports. However, I love sports overall, no matter if it’s women or men that are playing. As a sports women myself, I think most women’s sport deserves more recognition around the world. I think the big problem why women’s sport don’t get as much recognition as men’s sports are because we compare women and men too much. For example, even if men and women play with the same type of clubs and golf balls, the courses are set up completely different, which makes the sport incomparable. I believe that the popularity is different depending on where in the world you are. Since I’m from Sweden I believe the most popular women’s sport is Track and field during summer and Skiing during winter. Women’s sport can be popular enough if it’s promoted in a good way. What makes a difference too is if the event is fun to watch or not. For example, soccer games can be a lot of fun to watch but also very boring. It depends on how the teams are playing and if they have any players such as Marta Silva that can do spectacular things with the football. Sport is entertainment and I think it’s up to the athletes themselves to make their sport popular.