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BBC scores goal for female netballers

Credits: Sophie
Watford Grammar School for Girls (See more work from this school)

Watford Girls are delighted at BBC TV showing English netball for the first time, as the English Roses take on the Australian Diamonds in the International Quad Series.

On Sunday 5th February, English netball was shown for the first time on BBC television, the International Quad Series continued. In the past, English netball matches have been displayed on a minor Sky Sports channel. Being a national television channel, BBC is another step up for England Netball Association.

The English Roses challenged the Australian Diamonds at the SSE Wembley Area, seating 12,500, but after putting up a tough fight were beaten by one goal (46-47). Netball is England’s biggest female sport, with 92,000 affiliated young women, and despite being an Olympic recognized sport (a status gained in only 1995), it has still never been played at the Summer Olympics; the main reason that it isn’t an Olympic sport is that it is mostly played by females.

Female sport has progressed rapidly since the very beginning. Due to sexual discrimination, women’s rights to even sports came very late. It took until 1900 for the first 19 women to compete in the modern Olympic Games, where they could only play tennis, croquet, and golf. By 1908, among 2008 athletes, there were only 36 female athletes who could now compete in archery, sailing, skating, tennis, and water motor sports. In 1940, Mary Denise Rand was the first British woman to win an Olympic medal. Today, women make up 45% of athletes.

James Oyesola, a 20 year-old sports coach currently working at Watford Football Club, has provided us some extra inforrmation on the subject of women's sport. 'There does seem to be a different attitude towards sport from girls and boys, but really it depends on how you've been brought up and in what environment.' He also says that about 99% of the reasons why kids enjoy sport is simply because it's fun.' In terms of female sport he says that 'younger girls tend to enjoy more sport than older. In today's society, you look around and see men's sport. Boys grow very physically different to girls so by their teenage years PE is completely seperated. To improve young women's view of sport, there needs to be more funding for female sport and activity as well as more encouragement from both genders'.

Four 13-year-old girls from Watford Grammar School gave their views on women’s sport. Their opinion is that ‘Women’s sport doesn’t get enough attention’; ‘it isn’t as talked about’; it is ‘under acknowledged and a lot less people are willing to join’. Fifty girls were asked how many of them actually enjoyed physical activity and 26 did, about half of girls. They enjoy sport because it is ‘fun', helps them 'make friends’  and one student replied that it 'makes me feel healthy and fit’.  Another said, 'I feel positive, mentally and physically healthy.’ They felt to make it more fun it should ‘be encouraged more’ , ‘less competitive’ and  ‘more to do with friends than being assessed’.

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