1. More competitive opportunities for women's sports in Asia, including the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, are paying off for previously unnoticed teams. The Malaysian (field) hockey team will be participating in its first Olympic qualifying tournament ever because of its performance in these two recent tournaments. Qualifying happens in Vancouver in the spring.
2. In China, officials with the International Table Tennis Federation are worried about the decline in popularity of the sport in the country. Their solution? Encourage the female players to wear sexy skirts and dresses a la Maria Sharapova. While I appreciate Sharapova's--and others'--fashion sense, I am conflicted about using fashion to sell sport. I also have a hard time getting my head around playing table tennis (ping-pong in my mind) in a short skirt. To me, it's more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of sport played in the basement before and after holiday dinners, preferably with a glass of wine nearby for refreshment. But even for those who are professionals and not recreational hacks like myself, short skirts don't seem like a requirement. (Then again they aren't really a requirement for tennis either.) [More pics here.]
3. Singapore is trying to grow interest and opportunities in women's soccer. The Football Association of Singapore is trying to establish 25 women's teams in the country in just one year. The teams will be set up around the country and target students.