I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a veeerry long time. I am such a keen sports enthusiast, with swimming being my main sport, and I always love watching things such as the Olympics, Paralympics, and World Championships of some kind on the TV (I’ve never been lucky enough to actually get tickets to see these events live, unfortunately!)
One of the things that really bugs me about particular sports, including Rugby and Football, is that they are so male dominated, especially in the media. When we talk about the FIFA World Cup, we think of players like David Beckham, Wayne Rooney… they’re all superstars, but why aren’t the female footballers playing at this level as popular with the everyday members of the public?
Personally, football isn’t a sport I take particularly seriously, as in I will watch a game if my dad is watching it, but apart from that I don’t really bother. And I am one of many who wouldn’t be able to name a successful female footballer, either.
On the other hand, in sports like tennis and swimming, it is made very clear that the match or race you are watching is for women or for men. So we can name famous athletes of both sexes- Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal… I don’t see why football isn’t categorised in the same way.
I understand that sports like rugby can be seen as more “dangerous”, so it is argued to be a more “masculine” sport, but that shouldn’t stop women from playing it, or at least being interested in it. It shouldn’t be why mothers tell their daughters that they’re not allowed to play rugby, because it’s “too dangerous”, and that it’s “a sport for boys”. No sport is for a particular gender.
Sport is there for people to have fun, and to be healthy. If I had a daughter who wanted to play rugby, I would encourage her to do so, because at least she’d be able to give it a try, and see whether she likes it before deciding to continue, or if it isn’t something she’d be interested in.
The same thing can be said for “feminine” sports, such as dance, or even gymnastics. I’ve said before that I know someone, a male, who was amazing at ballet, but gave up because they were bullied. Severely. I also know someone who is in my year at school who has the potential to represent Great Britain in Gymnastics in the next Olympic Games. This person is also a male.
These examples are from my experience, living in the UK. But I know that in other countries, things are different. In an ideal world, every sportsman would be equal- so why isn’t it?
What do you think?