Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Report to highlight barriers faced by women and girls in sport

The Times today reports that the Commission on the Future of Women's Sport (set up last year, and chaired by Tanni Grey-Thompson) will publish their findings tomorrow (Tuesday).

The main conclusion seems to be that women and girls face major barriers when they come to play sport - especially traditionally male-dominated sports like rugby - due to the way many of these sports are run by "Old Boy networks" of former (invariably male) players. It highlights the way in which the governing bodies of a quarter of the 46 sports studied - including rugby - currently have no female members. The report will say that "we’re trapped by our history in sport of old-school committees and members’ clubs".

The result is governing bodies that are "out of touch with half the population and risk compromising elite performance" due to an in-built conservatism and resistance to change. Such sports, the report will say, are often charaterised by a "macho culture inhospitable to working mothers, a lack of champions at the top and discrimination at the grassroots through stereotyping and inadequate facilities". These are barriers to both female participation and women landing the most senior jobs in sport.

Sue Tibballs of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation is quoted as saying that "more women want to play sport but the way sport is led means it is failing to capitalise on the opportunity to grow grassroots participation and enjoy greater elite success". This is echoed by Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, who said that “things have to change. I do not believe there are not the qualified women out there. Some sports are trying to change but others have more entrenched views.”

These appear to be just the first findings of the Commission - but the real question is less about what its final conclusions will be but rather more what (if anything) will be done. Though the Commission was established with the support of government, it is not a government report - and even if it was it difficult to see what government would do. Legislation is unlikely, but (on the other hand) are these "old boys networks" really likely to voluntarily change just by being shown the error of their ways?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Total Pageviews (since June 2009)

Sport Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory