Sue’s documentary "Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport" launches on Netflix

Sue Anstiss seated looking away from the camera at someone out of shot. The Game On logo is in the top left.

Alumna Sue Anstiss MBE is an author, podcast host, and women’s sport activist who has been driving change in sport for more than 30 years through engaging content, storytelling and campaigns. Now, working with fellow alumnus Jack Tompkins, Sue’s documentary “Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport” will launch on Netflix on 26 June.

The documentary, directed and produced by Sue and Jack, confronts a series of controversial issues that have hampered the progress of women’s sport in the past. It looks at why things are changing and what the future holds for women’s sport.

It is told through the eyes of sporting legends and pioneers – and includes a number of Loughborough alumni as well as other references to the University.

Paralympian and Parliamentarian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, who graduated from Loughborough in 1991 with a degree in Politics and Social Administration, features throughout the documentary. She has also been a guest on Sue’s Game Changers podcast on the same topic, and she provided the foreword for Sue’s Game On book.

Baroness Grey-Thompson and Sue Anstiss smiling at the camera. There are copies of Sue’s Game On book on the table.Baroness Grey-Thompson and Sue Anstiss

There are interviews with women’s rugby legend alumna Sarah Hunter CBE (Sports Science and Mathematics 2007), who recently retired as England’s most-capped player, and with former Loughborough College academic Dr Ali Bowes who talks during the documentary about studying at Loughborough University and completing her PhD (2013). You’ll also catch a glimpse of Loughborough Lightning in action at the Netball Super League finals.

Sue also talks personally about her time at Loughborough. In 2022, she was given the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences in recognition of her outstanding contribution to grassroots and women’s sport. This is one of many awards Sue has received. The award presentation – which was held at the Stadium on the Loughborough campus in September last year – features towards the end of the film.

Sue Anstiss standing in front of seats in a theatre.Sue Anstiss

As well as celebrating progress and success, a range of questions are discussed throughout the documentary.

Why do we expect women and girls to play sport in revealing clothes when men can remain modestly covered, and why has it taken so long to finally address the issue of women playing sport in whites? Why do schoolgirls drop out of sport at twice the rate of boys, and why does women’s sport still not have the funding and investment of men’s?

Sue, CEO of Fearless Women, is passionate about confronting the issues that have hampered progress in the past. She said:

“I made the Game On documentary to celebrate the incredible growth in women’s sport whilst also highlighting the continuing disparities faced by female athletes. There’s enormous potential in women’s sport that many don’t yet see.

“Things are changing fast with significant increases in investment and visibility, but there’s still much to do to ensure true equality for all women and girls.

“I hope that Game On will help amplify the story of women’s sport and its potential to impact gender equality in society. Being on Netflix will help us to do this, as it provides tremendous reach beyond current fans of women’s sport.”

Sue Anstiss with Director of Photography Ben Marlow and alumnus Jack Tompkins, Director and Producer. The trio stand together inside a stadium.Sue Anstiss with the film’s Director of Photography Ben Marlow and Jack Tompkins

The release of the documentary coincides with a big summer of high-profile women’s sport, including The Ashes, the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup, and the Netball World Cup.

Commenting on her ambition for the documentary, Sue said:

“I hope this beautiful, engaging film will strike a chord with both male and female audiences – opening their minds to the power sport has to drive change in society, and showcasing the challenges female athletes still face in their fight for equality.

“It was a privilege to film with such an array of sporting talent both on and off the field.”

Sue graduated from Loughborough in 1988 with a degree in English and Physical Education. She has contributed to a range of panel discussions and guest lectures at Loughborough on the theme of women in sport, supporting current students and fellow alumni.

Jack has also volunteered his expertise at the University, sharing insights into media and sport. He graduated from Loughborough in 2013 with a degree in Sport Management.

You can watch “Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport” – Directed and Produced by alumni Sue Anstiss MBE and Jack Tompkins – on Netflix from 26 June 2023. Catch the trailer online.

Find out more about Fearless Women, The Game Changers podcast, Women's Sport Collective and Sue’s book online. You can also find out more about Jack Tompkins’ work on the Ben and Jack Studio website.