When you think of sport, do you automatically think of women? Female athletes are starting to change the way we view sport in the last decade. Now more than ever women are thriving in the sporting industry, but there is still a noticeable difference in how they are portrayed in our media.
Women make up 40% of all participants in sports, but they only receive 4% of the coverage.
Park Life Sport spoke to Laura Williamson, an editor from the Athletic when she spoke to students here at the University of Gloucestershire and Digital Sports Editor, Alicia Turner who recently graduated from the university about their thoughts on the current portrayal of sports women in the media.
According to the Women’s Sport Foundation, girls are twice as likely to drop out of sport than boys, however, it is not due to lack of motivation, but down to a lack of funding for women’s and girl’s sports programs.
The University of Gloucestershire, are trying to contribute to programs to help raise the numbers of women involved in sport. Their ‘Get up and Go’ project offers a range of activities for women to do, that holds little pressure or expectation of their sporting abilities.
Not only this, but the University has many female sports clubs who open their arms to new members joining them. Although most of the clubs compete competitively in the BUCS league, there are some training sessions that you can attend if you feel taking part in a competitive competition holds too much pressure.
Attendance, day jobs and sexist headlines still overflow on front pages and the back pages of our newspapers.
The Lionesses lost 2-1 at Wembley at the weekend but the majority of the news headlines noted the crowd rather than the result.
To help with give female athletes more authority and to give girls more sporting role models Adidas launched a global initiative called She Breaks Barriers. The aim of the program is to remove the gender stereotypes within sport and create greater visibility for female athletes.
It is clear that the media still has a long way to in keeping up with the pace of women in sport, but with the programs that the media have shown, it won’t take too long until women and men are equal in the sporting world.