Aug 17, 2012

The case for more women in sport — on and off the field

Senator Kate Lundy says the real challenge for the Australian Sports Commission is not how much funding it's handing out, but how it can spend it effectively.

Don’t blame the athletes for Australia’s underperformance at the London Olympics, nor a lack of funding in sport. According to Sports Minister Kate Lundy, we should be pointing the finger at individual sporting organisations: and particularly, the lack of women on their boards.

Lundy will tell the UN Women and Australian Rugby Union women’s lunch today that the real challenge for the Australian Sports Commission is not how much funding it’s handing out, but rather how it can spend it effectively.

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3 thoughts on “The case for more women in sport — on and off the field

  1. rudimax

    How about covering sport on Women’s Agenda then? One of the many reasons women’s sport continues to be sneered at and our female athletes only able to earn a fraction of their male counterparts is that it isn’t supported by the media. Angela, you have a chance to make inroads into that but I couldn’t find any actual sports coverage on your site. Lots of stuff about what to wear but no actual sport…

  2. Scott

    The major issue with women in sport is that in sport, viewers (male and female) want to watch the best, the fastest, the most skillful and the strongest athletes. Unfortunately, while not questioning their work ethic or committment, in most sports, women are not these things.

    Think of the womens basketball competition at the most recent olympics. Such a big deal was made of the first slam dunk in Olympic competition by our own Liz Cambage. How many have happened in the male competiton?? Countless. Even in the Womens NBA, only 6 slam dunks have occurred since it’s inception, performed by 4 players. It’s the spectacle that sells and it is missing in the female competition.

    The US women’s basketball team is a dream team in itself, having won 7 out of the 7 Olympic gold medals, yet it was all about Kobe and LeBron because they do things female players (and most male players) cannot.

    Women on sporting boards should be encouraged as it will improve management and governance, but let’s not pretend it’s going to have an effect on women’s sporting performance or even lifting the profile of womens sport. Board members, male and female, know what sells and it’s not female sport.

  3. lulu

    Scott – Mate you are a bloke who – lucky you – gets access to many media methods of men playing sport. As a women who has participated in many sports i would love to watch women’s sport on free to air tv. I hate netball – but the women who play this sport deserve far better coverage then what they get now. But apart from those ladies we don’t get to see women playing much sport outside of tennis (and don’t tell me that these women don’t generate media interest) and a bit of golf. 50% of the population is actually interested in more than footy of any code played by men. We just don’t get much of a chance to demonstrate that it sells. We don’t get a say in what sport is covered in the print media -its owned by men.

    I don’t think you really know what women viewers want – i don’t think anyone has ever asked the female public if we want to see more women playing sport.

    Maybe supporting women playing sport (ie paying them equally to men – see australian women’s cricket team, soccer team women’s salary etc) will in the future see women capable of doing stuff that men have been allowed to do (ie paid to do) for a long time.

    So yes lets get more women involved in sport from grass roots, through to boards, participation, coaching the works – and beyond just supporting men – but also supporting the other half of the world too.

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