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  • Writer's pictureHugh Lawrence

Women's sport - what: not newsworthy?

"Nothing makes my blood boil like when I'm told I can't do something because I'm a woman". Well said that woman co-presenter on TV3 news on Sunday evening. Her male co-presenter agreed, making a relatively soft comment about the importance of women's rights. Apparently lost on both of them and their two newsreader colleagues (well, no one said anything) was the irony of the previous sport segment of the news reporting only, and in detail, on men's sport. And that included a rugby league biting incident. The only female sport item was the very last item on a woman world champion paddle-boarder being denied access to a major event on account of her being a woman. BTW, nothing stopped any of the newsreaders making a throwaway comment about the obvious irony. Well they make such comments on the weather!!

This is not unusual. The media hype around much of men's sport means news reporting goes into increasingly extraordinary detail on their events. How newsworthy really is a weekly shot of F1 drivers squirting champagne on each other and the crowd?

I'll keep this post short, as the issue speaks for itself. It's not new, but endures as women's sport struggles for mass media recognition and access to resources. I'll leave coaches to think about their contribution to fair treatment for women's sport. Maybe a first contribution is to raise our expectations of women and help them raise their own performance expectations. And please, none of this nonsense about men being stronger than women - so that's a reason for no profile. Women's world record snatch - Tatiana Kashirina at 155kg and a 193kg clean and jerk!

(photo source: Associated Press)

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