Monday, September 17, 2007

Women's athletics on the world stage

A few women's sports news bits from around the world:

1. The Women's World Cup in soccer (or football if you're anyone except an American) is underway but it isn't the only World Cup out there as I reported recently. Women cricketers have their own world cup which will take place in 2009 and be hosted by New South Wales, Australia according to a recent announcement.

2. There's a good article in the Life and Society section of the British paper New Statesman about the state of women's athletics in Britain. Quick summary: not very good. The reasons why are explored in the article. Seems girls are worried about their image if they should engage in athletics including being oversexualized or de-sexualized. There are also very few British women athletes who can serve as role models. There also appears to be little effort to change stereotypes by those in charge of sport in Britain who are content with athletics being male-dominated. And Britain does not have an effective law, like Title IX, that would compel sport administrators to provide more money and opportunities for girls and women.

3. Also regarding the state of sport across the pond...England has not been in a women's World Cup in over a decade and so far, so good this time around. They haven't lost a game yet. But they haven't won one yet either. They tied Japan 2-2 in their first game--which was a disappointment. But they held defending champions Germany scoreless--a good non-win. This article from The Guardian suggests that greater support at the club level for women's football will help tremendously in future World Cup attempts. [England needs to have a two-goal win over Argentina to advance beyond group play and at the time of this posting they were up 2-0 just 11 minutes into the game.]

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