Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Some International News

Since I just recently complained (using a newly released study) about the lack of coverage of women's sports in the United States I thought I would share some news from around the world. I am not suggesting that other countries pay more attention to their women's sports--these articles certainly do not sugest any type of trend. But given that so many of us--myself included--forget in these non-Olympic yeas that there are millions of women worldwide playing sports at some level, I thought I would create this sort of transnational reminder.
This first story is about the women's national Pakistani tennis championships. While Western news images of women in veils in hot, arid climates flood our senses, it's good to see the Pakistani Daily News promoting women's sports and offering a counter image.
China View has a brief story on the Chinese women's volleyball team defeating Jordan in the regional World Championships match. Again, we think of Jordan, we think of the Middle East, we think of war and religious conflict. Yet life and volleyball still go on. (Though the volleyball for Jordan has come to an end as they lost to China.)
And lastly, a South African news outlet reports on the upcoming netball tournament to take place in one of the poorer provinces of the country in an attempt to bring some economic prosperity to the region. I don't know all the ins and outs of netball, though I have been reading quite a bit of history about it recently. I do know that it was a game created for women and remains popular in Britain and its former colonies, but seems to never have garnered much international interest. (Though that might be very ethnocentric of me. I should say it has not gained any popularity in the United States despite being invented here.) But interestingly the last lines of this article state that men are growing more interested in the sport and a number of men's teams have entered the tournament. Hmmm...I wonder if this is similar to softball in the US: a distinctly female version of a male game created but that men are becoming quite interested in playing. Anyone want to undertake some kind of comparative history?

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