If you know anything about me, you’ll know I am passionate about sport: especially cricket. You’ll also know that I am passionate about the roles and place of women in society, and our need to ensure equality and access to opportunities for men and women. I am also proud to be a South African: one of the only developing countries in the world to make the equality of women a cornerstone principle in its development.
In government and in business, women are given opportunities and developed. And they deliver on this investment. More could be done, but much has been achieved.
But this all falls apart when we look at sport. Women’s sport in South Africa is rubbish. That’s no comment on the talent and dedication of the many, many sportswomen who work so hard across so many sport disciplines. But they do not have the support, the funding or the structures to succeed. In the sport I love the most, cricket, this is most evident. The structures around the SA women’s cricket team are a joke. It’s unprofessional, shambolic and completely invisible. This is sad. And unnecessary.
One of my favourite cricket analysts, Jared Kimber, wrote about this on his blog yesterday, as he reflected on the opening games of the Women’s World Cup that is currently underway (did you even know that was happening)? He particularly reflects on the England vs Sri Lanka game. England have done a fantastic job of supporting their women cricketers, and the women’s game is strong in England because of it. But Sri Lanka took them to the wire – and prevailed. If only that game had been shown on TV.
It’s important that we invest in developing women’s sport. It’s not just in government and business that women need equality.