It’s time to invest and support women’s sport
Women’s sport is now starting to peak. It’s been a year since 20×20 ended, although the last year doesn’t count due to a global disaster. Women’s football has reached unprecedented new heights, and the FAI sells the Women’s National Team to unique, fun and original partners; The Gaelic Games, although there are many hiccups, have enjoyed unprecedented attention and coverage. However, as this spotlight grows, so do the cobwebs that were meant to be hidden.
In Ireland alone, the IRFUs are the bad boys to support women, with multiple histories, internal tensions and an apparent contempt for the female XV. In the United States, the NWSL has had multiple accusations of emotional and psychological abuse against some of its leading men, with former commissioner Lisa Baird being forced to resign after dismissing the allegations.
So in truth what we need now is some kind of plan. Any women’s football administrator says no one needs to follow the precedents set by men, women’s sport can get creative and generate interest in new and exciting ways, or as my brother tells me, when I do new and exciting things, i’m not doing anything.
Various sports government bodies are doing things right, for example, seeing the FAI go from asking players to change tracksuits in the washroom, as those tracksuits were necessary for underage boys’ teams to building long-standing relationships with them. brands and sponsors for the national women’s championship. team and equal pay for men and women.
But, one thing that makes more sense is to make sure in all sports that players are protected when things are not going well. The NWSL, only this year after all, implemented an anti-harassment policy after players demanded it.
Coaches, staff, executives, female administrators are also crucial. I have no doubt that this point will bother those who use the term snowflake but panic whenever they see minor inconvenience. But we all know that reporting to a peer or someone like you is easier than reporting to someone else.
Add to that the excuse that there aren’t many women who volunteer to do these things. It is not because of the women. It just depends on how the sport and the society are put together. Adding scholarship or mentoring programs for upcoming girls and women can show that it’s not just about scoring the winner.
Some people in women’s sport believe that moving closer to professionalism could be bad for the sport, or that it happens too soon. This is not the case. A study has found that Kellie Harrington and Ellen Keane are our most marketable stars after their exploits in Tokyo. A study by Deloitte recently predicted that broadcast and sponsorship revenues for women’s sports would soon exceed $ 1 billion globally. WNBA viewership numbers have skyrocketed, with the regular season averaging 306,000 viewers, up 49% from 2020 and 24% from 2019, ESPN says – despite ESPN having it. broadcast on its other channels.
TG4 has continuously reaped the rewards of excellent coverage of women’s football, and RTÉ is gradually getting there as well. None of these stations do it for the sake of their hearts. They do it because there is real financial potential to develop something good.
In all sports, there has to be a clear, long-term plan to welcome and help players if you can’t pay them. However, as crazy as it sounds, I think any player playing in the green jersey should get paid. Women’s sport should be seen as a career development rather than a moment or a movement.
Looking through the controversies over the past few years, from pitch access in the Gaelic games, the disaster in the locker room and the lack of oversight with international teams and the IRFU, the real danger is not the chaos or controversy sparked by those within. The real problem is that after every controversy or chaos that has passed, after the sacrificial lambs were offered to those seeking heads, everything returned to the status quo.
These liabilities can be public relations assets rather than disasters, women’s sport can be nimble and easy to mold, so rather than requiring players to keep quiet to keep the image clean, these bad habits can be quickly shaken up to create new, ideas that have been researched, implemented, and successful.
Instead of spending money on women’s sport and its administrators, the focus should be on short, medium and long term goals and financial needs assessment. For too long this country has known that sometimes throwing money away without tracking may be the worst thing you can do.
No one is asking anyone to recreate the wheel, absolutely use the ideas that have been successful in men’s sport and learn from chess, but to understand that women’s sport has a stellar mark, incredible talent and has captured the imagination of the nation. Now, it’s time to move forward, implement proper plans and schemes, and use female games as role models and trendsetters in the future.
All we’re looking for is three things: invest in women, support women, and hire women.