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Guest blog: Women in sport and fitness

Written by Fiona May 30 2013

My guest blogger Chloe writes about women’s sports through history. While men and women have always enjoyed sport there have been sports more specifically connected with men, for example  football and cricket, and those more likely to be played by women, for example hockey and netball. Think back to secondary school days and remember the sports you played in PE lessons.

Victoria Pendleton

Victoria Pendleton

Things have changed over the decades and there is a growing public awareness and interest of women in sport. Mainly due to an increase in funding, women’s football and rugby is slowly gaining more attention, especially in Northern America. In addition, female combat sport and athletics catch the world’s attention during events like the Olympics as well. The Williams sisters have done wonders for professional woman’s tennis, while the likes of Victoria Pendleton have boosted women’s competitive cycling.

I would argue, however, that despite the changes, there still is a long way to go for female athletes to taken just as seriously as their male equals, with disparities in pay being a hot debate amongst sports professionals. In order to encourage girls and women to partake in sports, no matter whether it’s a traditionally female or male discipline, there are now many programmes offered by fitness centres and sports clubs that specifically focus on women. In that way, free-time and professional female athletes get the chance of receiving high-quality training.

Fitness involves more than training

Female fitness trends often combine a physical workout with other essential areas of life, such as nutrition and mental health. For that reason, disciplines like yoga, well-being sports and weight-loss programmes are still highly popular. Their common goal is to look and feel good. Throughout the UK, women can take part in many sports activities, which improve their well-being and often simultaneously promote a charity. Here are three examples:

–        West Park Leeds RUFC: For female athletes who enjoy playing rugby or who are simply interested in watching it, the RugbyRocks event is a perfect example of a great event to participate in. It took place on the 26th May 2013 in Leeds. As well as the male teams, female teams playing rugby, volleyball, netball, hockey and also lacrosse gave everyone the chance to experience sports live, be it participating or spectating. This is just one of many sport festivals taking place this summer.

–        Yoga in the many yoga centres in Britain: Still a popular activity yoga is a sport that leads to a mental and physical balance, which is suitable for woman (and men) of all ages and which supports women dealing with PMS or going through menopause. There are many private yoga teachers and also larger fitness groups offering different kinds of yoga, for example Ashtanga (or power yoga), restorative yoga for stressed individuals or even prenatal yoga for pregnant women. In order to save money on such courses, it is worth looking online here for discounts and special offers.

–        On the edge: Another trend which has established itself among athletes is climbing – indoors and outdoors. Climbing does not only require muscle power but also mental strength. It trains the climber’s ability to fully concentrate and to learn how to evaluate their personal fitness. Offers such as the Manchester climbing centre discounts encourage athletes of both sexes to test their own physical and mental limits for a low price. When climbing the wall, men and women are the same.

What do you think about women and sport in the 21st century?

 

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