Promotion of sport - Women

I am partly responsible for the development of my Netball Clubs youth team and for as long as I can remember we have struggled to recruit quality players & numbers into the game, lack of awareness & funding being the key issues.

Sport is unarguably beneficial to those who partake so why does netball, like most “traditionally female” dominated sports dwell on the fringes of public awareness? If I pick up FHM (marketed for men) I’m almost guaranteed to see read a sports feature however I cannot think of the last time I picked up a birds magazine that featured anything sports related (although I would lobby for position of the fortnight to become a new Olympic entry).

Where are the bastions for women’s sport?
I can only name two that have transcended from the running track to gain superstar status, plus some crazy bird who floats boats round the globe & films herself crying.

Netball has seen a few recent changes with the introduction of the Super League which consists of eight teams who hold the monopoly on the best players. This higher level of competition has attracted more sponsors to the sport and will hopefully increase our chances of success internationally, but will it bring the sport the recognition it deserves?

Are women’s sports just not television friendly? (que beech vollyball quips)
It's a good question and a difficult one to answer as I have no experience in this. I do pick up on your comment of lack of funding and awareness though. Surely awareness should not be totally an issue because all girls play netball etc. at school. If they liked it enough at that level then they could take it up outside of school. If they don't play it outside of school then it's probably due to lack of interest personally. I know this is not a definitive point but must partly be the reason.

What annoys me (and with mens sport as well), is that it seems to becoming trendy to support all sports, including fringe sports becasue we are hosting the 2012 Olympic games. After the games it will be back to the major sports. But that is partly political - must be seen doing well in the medal table. I was on the GB 100km Ultra Distance Team a few years ago and we were lucky to get expenses to races abroad. I did not partake at the World Champs in Russia in '96 because 'they' would only pay for 3 male and 3 female athletes (6 per team). We were and still are a fringe sport.

Good luck.

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