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We desperately need more women in sports media

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We desperately need more women in sports media

“90% of sport articles in Europe are written by men and 85% written about men.” - EUSport

As a woman who has been working in sports media for a decade, including having an editorial position, I didn’t quite take this too seriously. As I thought “I mean, look at me”.

But then again, I am campaigning to get teenage girls more active, and one important aspect of it is having more role models – and for those same role models to be more present in the mainstream media.

If you have a look at the mainstream media’s sport pages, the number of women featured there is close to zero. Every now and then Serena, Maria and maybe Lindsey (Vonn) get a spotlight, and even then their “sins” seem to catch more attention than their accomplishments.

Let me make it clear; I totally understand the tradition and its role in gender balance. Men get sports, women rule the fashion and beauty industry. And let’s face it; women are more interested in the latter.

But as much as traditional roles are hard to break, we don’t have a choice but to break them in terms of sport and girls’ health.

  • Two in three girls give up exercise by the age of nine (Uni in Bristol)
  • Only 11% of girls aged 15 perform one hour of physical activity daily (HBSC)
  • The percentage of teens, especially teen girls, with suicidal thoughts and actions, doubled in the last decade
  • Almost 20% of EU population is labelled as obese
  • Physical inactivity imposes economic costs of €80.4 billion per year to the EU-28 (CEBR)

The above mentioned stats are just a few good reasons why sport among girls and women should get a lot more recognition in the mainstream media. Actually, women in sport have to “go mainstream”.

More women should get professionally involved in the sport sector, from media and journalism to science and coaching, and we all have to encourage one another to take part in various fields of sport.

If you are an active social media user you know there are tens of thousands of women who regularly practice sports, yet never make it to the spotlight. And those who do are usually there for all the wrong reasons – the “click bait” reasons.

If you are an active woman taking part or working in sports, stand up, make yourself be seen.

Get loud and spread the love of movement across the world. If you are a female journalist, fight to get more content out on women who have accomplished amazing things within the sport/physical activity world.

And most importantly; girls and women, do not be afraid of taking part, working or even talking about sport. From my personal experience, men have always respected me for my knowledge of sport and participation in it. It’s actually been my favourite working field ever.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 11:03