This Last February, the Australian Sports Commission announced major sporting organizations must provide the same overseas travel standards for male and female athletes if they wanted to receive government funding.
This came weeks after the Australian women’s basketball team, which has been the more successful side at international level, were flown to the London Olympics in economy, while the men’s team went business.
Kerrin Lee-Gartner, who is the only Canadian to win Olympic gold in downhill skiing, which she did in Albertville in 1992, is on the board of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. She places part of the responsibility for a greater place in Canadian sport on women themselves.
Jenn Heil, a gold medalist in freestyle skiing at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy who does humanitarian work with the international organization “Because I am a Girl,” believes too many young girls are dropping out of sports too early.
“We need more women in leadership roles and in coaching positions,” Heil stressed. “We need to make the experience relevant to girls, and right now we’re falling behind in that regard. We have to get people, both boys and girls, prepared to participate. We are way behind in physical literacy in this country and that’s a big problem.”
The role women play in sports and through it, by promoting values of equality and demolishing stigma, can have substantial effects.
The achievements women athletes are making, in comparison to their male counterparts, are extraordinary, and hence should be highly invested in.
The female presence in the sports community needs to be increased, with their achievements promoted, as they have shown time after time, their abilities to accomplish.
Sports and politics are often intertwined and change is actioned because of the power it has within communities.
Thus, this should be the portal for movement towards a more equal sports society.