It fascinates me and disgusts me that due to the unbelievable influence of social media that has grown over the years since I competed for my country in Taekwon-do, people feel that they ‘own’ other people’s feelings. They seem to think they ‘know’ literally everything about that person.
There’s been a lot of talk in the media recently about what women wear in sport. This isn’t a new topic, but the latest round of this debate was prompted by the Norwegian women’s handball team being fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms at the European Championships.
Demand the Effing Ball
Last week the England Women’s Cricket team were told that they were going to be getting a used pitch for their first home test in two years. This would never happen in the men’s game. When interviewed about it the captain Heather Knight said, "it is what it is."
Periods and the Impact on Female Athletes
Change is required, period. It literally amazes me how something as natural and widely spread as a period is so underplayed by scientists, by sports coaches and yes, by women - including myself! I’m one of those who found out about periods on the back of the school bus when I thought my friend was joking when she told me we were going to bleed every month. I was 10 then, I’m 50 now and I still rarely talk about them, even with my five daughters. We’ve all adopted that ‘just get on with it’ sort of attitude and so we do. However, as I’ve got older, periods have made me angrier and not just when I’m on!
Photo Credit: BBC Sport
Coaching Women and Girls in Sport
In order to get the best out of an athlete, it is important that the coach understands her. A coach once said that he always asks his athletes the following question: tell me one thing about yourself that once I know it, it will help me coach you better. This question is a good start to building-up trust and respect in the coach-athlete relationship and these two elements are key to developing an athlete successfully.
Smash It Like A Girl
Take a teenage girl and tell her that she can enter an environment where no-one cares what she looks like. Where it doesn’t matter if she’s tall or short, fat or thin. Her hair colour is irrelevant – no-one is judging. She doesn’t need to wear make up, or put on any mask.She may be tempted; it sounds so liberating compared with the stifling, judgemental arena of school.
The environment is sport.
From the moment a female is conceived, she is already at a disadvantage. She is already labelled in pink: on the cards people buy to congratulate her parents, the clothes that she wears and the gifts that she’s given. From conception a fighter is born.
Women On Fleek
I was watching the European Indoor Athletics Championships and thinking that the female athletes are seriously ‘on fleek’. It isn’t just their eyebrows that look good, (although I couldn’t help but notice). Some of their hairstyles look professionally done and their make-up looks good enough for a night out on the tiles. Yet, far from distracting from their amazing achievements, it just made me think: jeez! Not only can these inspirational women hone their muscles to pure, unadulterated strength perfection, but they are quite obviously feeling fabulous about being female.
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