The Inequality In Women’s Sport
The difference between men’s and women’s sport was never more apparent than when we visited the Netball World Cup recently.
The stark contrast between sponsorship deals between men’s and women’s sports was very self evident.
The Australian Diamonds are a women’s national sports team who has been continually number one in the world for number of years, yet the media coverage of their games on free to air TV and the coverage of the World Cup competition in general was dismal to say the least.
To make a sport popular on TV and to score the prime time spot, you need important sponsors,bums on seats and assured ratings. Something the sport of Netball has been steadily gaining ground with over the past few years, but obviously it is not quite there yet.
The only way to score a major sponsorship deal for a female athlete is for that athlete to be a successful Olympian, be exposed to extensive media coverage and to participate in a popular sport, oh… apparently looking good is a priority too.
Sally Pearson, one of our most successful female athletes once said, she couldn’t believe that it was actually possible to end up with less sponsors after winning a gold medal at an Olympic Games, compared to the number of sponsors she had before her success in London. However, unfortunately for her this scenario actually turned out to be true.
In a country where our female cricketers are world champions (and might I add won “The Ashes”).The Opals (basketball) are doing so much better than the Boomers and the Matilda’s constantly outrank the Socceroos. You have to ask yourself, why is this happening?
Why is there such a divide between men’s and women’s sports? What will it take for women’s sport to become as popular as men’s and as widely celebrated?
We were lucky enough to spend a day out at the Netball World Cup, unfortunately not for the final, but we had an exciting day never the less, where we watched some amazing Netball. We saw some astounding athletes put in some incredible performances.
Other days where we were at home and just wanted to catch the latest game on TV , we were sorely disappointed. Unless it was an Australian Diamonds game, which were all broadcast live on free to air, you had to source the game out on cable TV or try and watch a game online, and Australia were the hosts of the tournament!
At the end of a weeks long, intense, international competition, Australia were once again crowned the best in the world. And where did this amazing achievement rate on the nightly news that night?
3rd story in the sports report, behind Jarryd Hayne and the losing men’s cricket team. Surely this achievement deserved to be the leading story.
Why can’t our girls expect equality in the coverage of women’s sport in the media? Equal pay and gender equality in sport will never happen until the great divide over coverage between men’s and women’s sports is conquered.
Fortunately for our all conquering Netballers the NSW Premier has the right idea…..
I understand that Netball perhaps isn’t the top supported sport in this country, however due to the majority of young Aussie girls, who get up at the crack of dawn on a freezing winters Saturday morning to play their favourite game, (and the parents who have to take them), you would think there would definitely be an audience for it.
Each week the number of screaming fans that that fill Allphones Area to support their team in the ANZ Championship grows each week. These fans are just as passionate, just as dedicated and just as supportive as fans from other sports.
These girls are just fabulous with their fans, meeting them after the game and are often seen venturing out to the different Netball associations holding clinics and helping to inspire future generations of netballers.
Girls are just as passionate about their sport as boys, yet the majority of sport that has prime time representation on TV is very much male dominated. Don’t get me wrong I love my AFL as much as the next person, but it would be a nice change to see the girls up there front and centre.