Another difficult year for women in sport
By Rawle Welch
This year like so many others that have passed proved to be another difficult year for the promotion of sports among women.
Women’s involvement in sports continues to suffer from the lack of recognition and sponsorship and even though some outstanding performances were recorded over the past year the expected support for this gender still seems to be elusive.
There is no doubt that women in sports have suffered far too long despite their support for the same businesses that pour huge sums of money into male dominated events.
This course of action must not be allowed to continue in the coming year and it is time that the few female administrators that currently manage to survive in male dominated sport organisations and even those who’re vested with the power to lobby the Government and more directly the Ministry of Sport for more assistance, be prepared to do so in a more robust manner notwithstanding the anticipated challenges they may face.
Everyone is aware that in many associations, federations and even among independent organisers, support for female involvement in sports is not a priority, but at times appears to be a hindrance rather than a complement.
Very often very little is done to promote activities for women in sports and many examples of disrespect towards this gender could be given.
Even when they are considered and presented with an opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities most times it comes in the form a low-keyed appearance that is not properly advertised or organised.
Then there are instances of lack of assistance from the corporate community even though all the evidence seems to suggest that women’s support for this industry tremendously outstrips that of their male counterparts.
So what could be the reason for such unambiguous disregard for our female folk?
As in the past, this silent group continues to remain so, but it is time that they form a collective voice so that their concerns could reach the corridors of influence that could obviously ignite a debate to bring about a change in their fortunes.
Could 2011 bring about a different approach from those that are guilty of inattention on the part of developing sport among our women?
This is not to say that Guyana remains isolated in this regard, but because we are a country still struggling economically, creating as many alternatives for human empowerment and development as possible could help alleviate poverty and eradicate or minimise crime and teenage pregnancy among other social ills that affects society.
There are a few associations that have been models for women’s advancement in sports and Squash, Hockey and Swimming are amongst the most balanced in this regard and clearly lead the others.
Disciplines such as athletics, rugby, cricket and football have tried, but in patches since there is still the perception that most of the emphasis is still being placed on the men.
However, there are a few disciplines that have really been disappointing; they’ve done little or nothing to advance the cause for women’s participation.
The time has come for a combined effort which should involve major stakeholders that will address the issues and put a halt to the current trend and create more balance in every regard among our athletes.
Female administrators must understand that because there is a real challenge to get support from the business community and other relevant stakeholders, they must muster the resolve and equip themselves to aggressively pursue the task at hand or the present scenario will continue to persist.
Unless the existing inconvenience is examined at a national forum and a new dispensation agreed to, the chances for change will not take place since old habits usually take sometime to dissipate.