Perhaps this is a slightly more controversial post. I’m not targeting anyone specifically here, this is more of a general observation about women in sport and I’d love to hear thoughts on it.
As regular readers will know, although I like to run and blog about running, my big love is tenpin bowling, although I don’t blog about it much. I’ve been really lucky as I have had the opportunity to play in the World Cup and other events. Granted, I’m not playing well at all at the moment, but I’m working on it and my game is starting to come back to me.
Years back, before injury and pregnancy, I was playing really well and was living in Northern Ireland. Without trying to sound too arrogant, I was by some margin the highest scoring lady, although I used to let my head get in the way much too often. I used to practise a lot, bowling with the guys often on a Sunday morning and I really upped my game. However, when I was over there, the other women in general (not all of them) were pretty awful to me. I used to be in tears after events and often would play badly because I’d let it get in my head. When I didn’t let it bother me and just did my thing, I generally did well. I won a lot of events, I was winning the female ranking events by 200 pins or so and in one event, I even beat all the men as well. But many of the other women would nip at me and I couldn’t cope with it very well.
A few years on, I’m now living on the London / North Kent border and my good friend in Northern Ireland, is safe to say their best female player by some way. She also works really hard. And now they nip at her.
I have known of other females who have entered events, not just in bowling, but other sports as well. Good female athletes who perform well, who want to win, aim to win, can win and do win. And they get nipped at.
Now, this is an observation, but why is that? Maybe I’m wrong, but in male sport, there seems to be a fierce element of competition, men want to strive to get better, they want to beat the best and become the best. My experiences of women in sport is that the rest of the pack seem to work together to bring down the leader, instead of going after her.
Ladies, we all face similar challenges in sport. We’re not considered as good. We’re not considered worthy of airtime. People don’t care. Shouldn’t we work together to challenge and change that, instead of bringing each other down?
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’ve had bitter experiences and now I’m cynical. I’d love to hear what you all think in the comments.