Are girls discouraged from turning their love of sports into a career?Posted: 3rd of March 2015 by
At an inspiring women in sport careers event at the London Aquatics Centre, London Clare Balding has spoken out about the inequality that girls face when it comes to being encouraged and taken seriously about their dreams of pursuing a career in sport.
The question is, is sports education that much different now to say a decade or two decades ago? Certainly we see more female footballers nowadays, but how many schools are encouraging girls to turn their passion for sport into a career? And how often do we read that a female sports commentator has been treated unfairly or not taken seriously based purely on the fact that she is a woman?
Clare Balding has said that "If there is ever a situation where you feel the boys have got better facilities or the boys are being pushed in a direction that you want to go in, challenge it."
It’s not just about becoming an athlete however. Much like other areas, such as motorsport – the multitude of jobs available that are related to the sports industry might often be overlooked.
If you have a passion for a sport (or sport in general) then there are plenty of job options that you could consider, which will allow you to participate in an industry that you love. For example, just as there are specialist motorsport lawyers, there are also specialist sports lawyers who deal with regulations, player contracts and image rights as well as integrity in the sporting industry – every industry comes with its own set of legal and ethical issues.
Maybe you would enjoy working in events management and given that the sports industry is essentially entertainment driven, there are plenty of opportunities here. Equally, sports journalism might be perfect for someone who loves sport, has an excellent understanding of it but also is drawn to writing and media – you get to combine your passions! You can search for apprenticeships in the sports and leisure industry here.
It is also worth mentioning that your sporting talents can help you when it comes to funding your studies. There are sports scholarships available at many universities and you can find out all about these at www.thescholarshiphub.org.uk. Maybe you want to study law at university but keep your hand in with your sporting life and you might be able to do this by representing your university at sporting events.
Camila Hadland, who has just graduated from Durham University with a degree in Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity was a learn to row coach whilst she studied there and wrote a great article on how to get into a variety of sports related careers, which you can read here. So, come on girls – don’t let stereotypes put you off.
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