In It For The Long Run: Just How Far We’ve Come and How Far We’re Willing to Go
For every 53 articles written about male sports stars, there is one about a woman. Another gap in the statistical divide we’ve come far too used to when it comes to male and female sporting leagues. In the face of adversity females have never showed signs of slowing. We may have a long way to go but that doesn’t mean we haven’t come a long way too. So we’re celebrating the wins and the women, who have gotten us to where we are today and what we can do for the young ones that are ready and waiting for that baton to get us the rest of the way.
Since the introduction of AFLW it’s been steady on the rise. Across the board we’ve seen female athletes slowly but surely closing pay gaps, game participation and engagement showing no signs of stopping, and coverage increasing. The most recent seasons of female leagues in Australia (AFLW, WBBL, W-League) covered on TV recorded around 10 Million views.
|The interest is there, the fans are there, and the players are there. Female leagues have so much potential for reach and growth in their industries and it’s unravelling as we speak.
In 2019 alone we’ve seen Australian women in sport making waves ( and not just Steph Gilmore). In the face of adversity women have always shown the will to put up a good fight and fighting for better coverage, recognition, funding, pay, opportunities, and participation is no exception.
In the face of abusive trolls Tayla Harris was immortalised in bronze. A celebration of female athleticism with a whole lot of meaning behind it. A huge win for Tayla and any woman who has dealt with inappropriate comments or being torn down while just trying to do what they love. Harris herself said when the statue was unveiled “It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, young or old – everyone has a right to do what they love,”.
Our very own Ash Barty was awarded the highest ever prize packet in the history of tennis, between both males and females. Winning the WTA season closer in China this year Barty made history and deserved every last cent of it.
On the topic of pay, Barty’s win is monumental, in monetary value and far beyond that. The Matildas made headlines entering into discussion about equal pay this year. They have secured a bargaining agreement that will see them earning salaries equal to some of the top players on the Socceroos as well as all the same off field perks their male counterparts have enjoyed.
|Sam Kerr of the Matildas was also picked to play for Chelsea in 2020. A huge achievement for arguably one of Australia’s best sports players at the moment. Kerr was recognised and commended by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo.|
As these Aussie women (and those around the globe) show no signs of slowing it’s an exciting time to be a part of this community. Closing each gap and continually proving that the future of sport looks equal we can’t wait to see what next year holds.