Australian women are largely under-represented in organised sport, whether this may be as participants, coaches, officials, administrators or board members. There are many strategies that government and organisations have tried to implement to help equalise opportunities for females. However, there are concerns over gender bias and how this may prevent them from receiving the full benefits sport and physical activity can offer.

 

Today Annabel and the Longevity Exercise Physiology teams at Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain, Neutral Bay  and Coburg, Melbourne, discuss the role that women play in the sporting realm and why it is important for women to be involved in physical activity.

In Australia, women are more likely to be insufficiently active, with 59% compared to 50% for men and less likely to play sport. AusPlay data shows that 52% of Australian women and 68% of girls regularly participate in sport related activities. Insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases and can also negatively affect mental health and quality of life. Sport has the power to change lives and help to drive gender equality by teaching women and girls’ teamwork, self-reliance, resilience and confidence. Women in sport defy gender stereotypes and social norms, make inspiring role models, and show men and women as equals (2022 WISPAA finalists announced, 2022).

 

“Women are more likely to be insufficiently active, with 59% compared to 50% for men”

 

Australia has come a very long way in promoting female sport’s participation and getting behind female teams from various sporting codes. But there is still a lot of room for growth, which is exciting. There are many female role models in the sporting world including, Sally Pearson, Bronte and Cate Campbell, Elyse Perry, Sam Kerr and Steph Gilmore just to name a few. Greater levels of gender equality correlate with more innovation, better levels of decision making and better culture. The median full-time annual income for male sportspersons is $67,652. Women in this category earn $42,900. That is a gap of $24,752 (Home – Women In Sport, 2022).

By being able to have pay equality in sport means that women’s sport is valued equally to men. Achieving sustainable pay equality requires buy-in across the entire sports ecosystem from grass roots to elite level. To do this, we are calling for a significant shift in mindset, and a long-term focus on overall gender equality in all aspects of the sport. It starts with a genuine commitment from sporting organisations (Let’s stop calling it women’s sport, 2022).

 

“The median full-time annual income for male sportspersons is $67,652. Women in this category earn $42,900. That is a gap of $24,752”

 

Sport has been one of the most important socio-cultural learning experiences for boys and men for many years. Those same benefits should be afforded their female counterparts. Forty percent of women over the age of 50 suffers from osteoporosis. None of us should want our daughters to repeat the experiences of generations of women—our mothers and grandmothers—who were not permitted to play sports or encouraged to participate in weight-bearing exercises that are necessary to establishing bone mass. Girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports. These are just some of the reasons why it is so important to promote women in sport and exercise (Women in Sport, 2022).

 

If you are a girl/female and struggling to know where your health journey can start for you, give Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Pymble, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista, and Neutral Bay a call on 1300 964 002 to book in a session today.

 

Written by Annabel Bergman

 

References:

Women Sport Australia. 2022. 2022 WISPAA FINALISTS ANNOUNCED. [online] Available at: <https://www.womensportaustralia.com.au/> [Accessed 20 May 2022].

Women In Sport. 2022. Home – Women In Sport. [online] Available at: <https://www.womeninsport.org/> [Accessed 20 May 2022].

Sport Australia. 2022. Let’s stop calling it women’s sport. [online] Available at: <https://www.sportaus.gov.au/media-centre/news/lets_stop_calling_it_womens_sport> [Accessed 20 May 2022].

Sport Australia. 2022. Women in Sport. [online] Available at: <https://www.clearinghouseforsport.gov.au/kb/women-in-sport> [Accessed 20 May 2022].