I am enjoying the Commonwealth games. For the first time ever, there are more women participants than men. The number of men or women is always regulated by the kind of sports included and the opportunities thus generated. The Commonwealth has, for the first time, gone gender inclusive. Go, you!
Since the cycling scandals of the past year, I have become very sensitive to leadership and coaching in women’s sport. Here we see that little has changed. I noticed that all (I think all) of the coaches of the women’s rugby sevens (gosh they are talented) are men. Same with the T20 cricket. At the velodrome, men seem to be running the women.
The other thing I noticed is that women bring a different style to their sport. There are a lot more smiles, and styles and yet still a determined focus in the women’s game in both sports. It is time that the managers and coaches in women’s sport were, well, women. You wouldn’t find a single female coach in male sport, I don’t think.
Mind you, netball in NZ has had a women’s leadership for many years, and I have always been quite critical of the culture of that sport. There has always been something a bit off about the way the coaches talk about the players. No, I can’t be more specific. It reminds me of dairy farmers talking about the production of their cow, in terms of milk. Dehumanising.
As a non-Sky person, I watched the Prime ‘free’ stuff, which seemed almost entirely aimed at getting people to pay up for the Sky ‘pass’. Frustrating. Here again, gender politics raised their head. Why was the woman presenter (Laura McGoldrick was her name), dressed in a little black dress with a low v neckline (not that her boobs showed, just that they could have), black stockings and 6 inch stilettos? Why did she feel the need to cross her legs in a flirty manner when seated with the male presenter? Do you have to flirt to be a good woman presenter?
I mean I shouldn’t be grumpy, in that at least she was the sole presenter for a while. I just think that the image jarred a bit. We should have women, and they should dress nicely, but not as if they were off to a posh date with a bloke. Ordinary street clothes, or even good-looking sports outfits, would be fine.