In a recent article the Mail covered the contemporary topic of girls, attending private schools, being allowed to participate in traditionally male sports. (Click here for the article). The rise of girls wanting to play sport typically dominated by males, including football, cricket and rugby has undergone a recent inflation. Can this sudden rise be attributed to the increased coverage and success of Women’s National Teams, media campaigns focusing on getting girls active or simply sport, supported by modern society, moving towards an acceptance of gender neutral sport?
As a female cricketer since the age of 11, and then as a coach from age 16, I have experienced judgement, exclusion, stereotyping and most upsetting I have had my competency questioned as a result of my gender. After playing for several years for a boys team I joined a girls and then ladies club; seeking other women who were in my position.
Playing ladies cricket was thoroughly enjoyable, surrounded by women with the same sporting interests; it was then the husbands, dads, boyfriends and brothers of the ladies in the team on the boundary supporting, making the drinks and preparing the cricket teas. Sport and the social world does not have to have gender defined roles. It must be noted that it is not only women who are having to challenge traditional gender beliefs to participate in their sport of choice (but the male blog post is to be saved for another day!).
I am delighted about the increased uptake in traditionally male sports by girls in schools and wholeheartedly encourage girls and boys to participate in whatever sport they enjoy. I hope that contemporary society can continue to accept, and support girl’s participation in any and every sport towards a society in which all sports can achieve gender equality.
For further information on women’s cricket and to find a club near you check out this ECB web page.
Laura – ISA National Sports Assistant