Three years ago to the day sportswomen.ie was launched to address the poor coverage within the national media of women’s sport. We first posted the video above in January 2015, ready to take a leap of fate and launched sportswomen.ie. While it took Ellen Brennan less than a minute to descend her mountain sportswomen.ie took 3 years and I would like to think it has been part of the movement that has changed the current landscape of what we know to be Irish Women’s Sport. The conversation has moved on in a very positive direction in the last year and looking back on 2017, it may very well be the inflexion point.
The website has been a labour of love and it would not have been possible without my band of volunteers, my team of writers, and my supporters, who got what sportswomen.ie was all about. This goodwill has got the project so far but as a social entrepreneurial enterprise, unfortunately it is not paying it’s way and so we have decided to call it a day.
While the job is far from being done, sportswomen.ie in it’s current format will take a step back. I do believe a body whose mission is the promotion of women’s sport in Ireland needs to be set up with government support. Through this body it would help to deliver sport and exercise to every girl in this country, it would help to fund girls equally when it comes to sport, whatever the sport. Sport Ireland has done some work in this area but it needs to put it front and center. An important step would be to have more women on the governing boards across all sport and to finance the women in sport initiative to a far greater extent.
I would like to thank all those who have supported sportswomen.ie over the last 3 years. To Continental Tyres who sponsored the soccer page from April 2015 showing their real commitment to Irish Women’s Sport and to sportswomen.ie. To Quickest Fox Marketing who sponsored our Sportswoman of the Month in 2017 and to all those who sponsored the monthly #WSportHour on twitter in 2017. Thank you to those working with the governing bodies of the different sports who kept us up to date with their sport and educated me in sports I knew very little about.
I met some wonderful people through sportswomen.ie, other advocates, athletes, my team of writers, my supporters who understood our mission. You will all remain nameless today for fear of leaving one of you out, but you know who they are.
As Cliona Foley said recently “only the tip of iceberg has been shorn off”.
Only the tip of iceberg has been shorn off. Some thoughts on this so-called ‘great year’ for Irish women in team sports https://t.co/lKw68NFOQw @sportswomenIRL @wgpa @FAI_WNL @WomRugbyComp @LadiesFootball #womeninsport #WIS
— cliona foley (@ponyyelof) December 12, 2017
While that iceberg may run deep we all must continue to support our female athletes whatever their level. Sport and exercise are for everyone.
For 2018 get out there and support our female athletes, support your daughters, sisters, nieces and friends. Get out on the sidelines and cheer them on.
If you are a female get involved in your sport, become a volunteer, coach, take on a role of responsibility. There are many great men in these roles but we need more women taking on these roles and in particular those that are part of the decision making process.
Media outlets, continue to promote women’s sport through your articles, photos, coverage. As they say “if you can see it you can be it”.
In Judy Murray’s recent article she highlighted the three F’s,
Fun, Friends and Fitness
These are the three primary reasons as to why we play sport. Some may say it’s about trying to win too and for some that is a driving force too.
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) December 22, 2017
Let’s endeavour to make the world of sport a more equal one for everyone who is involved in it.
Happy New Year and here’s to the continued progress of Irish Women’s Sport.
Chief Bottlewasher of sportswomen.ie