The WSFF chief executive Sue Tibballs has stated that: “We are facing a real crisis in women’s sport and fitness which will result in increasing obesity levels, physical and mental health issues and crime and social problems”. Encouraging women to maintain participation in sport and fitness can be challenging.
With Australian Women's Football taking centre stage this year, perhaps the crisis is over. This triumph has inspired people of all ages to support women and to celebrate how far we have come in the sporting world. In the past, women’s sport has often been in the shadows of men’s sport, particularly with broadcasting. It generally hasn't been taken as seriously as men’s competitions. Women's sport media coverage worldwide is only 5% of the total sporting coverage. The AFL is changing this, placing women's sport in the main arena. Hopefully we see more sporting competitions following this tread in years to come. Mainstream coverage of women’s football may help encourage young girls to participate in sport, helping to establish active lifestyles later in life. The presence of athetic role models may also change the way fitness is viewed for women. Instead of valuing thin figures for women, the focus may shift to strong, muscular and athletic figures.
Written by Dr. Noel Duncan