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Need for co-ed sports

Now, this is hardly a feminist piece. I am not here to tell you that women can do anything that men can and better too. One, you know it too. Two, this is hardly about women. I am not here to praise women and demand better rights. I am talking about the possibility that the entire field of sports can take a whole new meaning if gender is not made the criterion.
So this is how the idea for the blog started.
The Women’s Indian Cricket Team performed really well at the world cup this year. Mithali Raj praised her team for their hard work, persistence, and passion for the game. She also added that there should be an IPL tournament in the country for the women’s team now. Raj believes that the team’s fantastic game has increased the fan following for the women’s team as well and that they have earned their place here.
While I am honestly not sure about an IPL tournament for women, it did get me thinking. Why not mixed sports? Now that girls play almost all the games that the guys do, why not put them together and see how well the tournaments take off? Mixed-gender sports should happen now, shouldn’t it? This is not about the term ‘we are all equal. A person should be selected for a sport based on various factors such as capability, skill, talent, etc. Sometimes, don’t you wonder why the gender is even taken into consideration? The best ones fit for the game ought to be picked. Don’t you agree?


World Frisbee Championship
The Indian team that took part in the World Championship of Beach Ultimate in France early this year in June finished fifth. 32 countries participated in the event. This is a phenomenal feat not just for the Indian team but also for the hope of having a mixed team. It has proven to have worked before and it will again. The existence of a successful mixed-world championship is truly a healthy sign that men and women can play together in a sport.


Why mixed games never took off?
Mixed-Doubles in Tennis is the only prominent game where men and women come together and play as equals. The whole gender superiority is an age-old practice where women are simply deemed unfit to participate in most games because of physical constraints. This is no longer applicable today. All it takes now is for initiatives.


Let’s take a look at all the myths and reasons thrown around. Girls are weak. They will not be able to perform as well as the boys. They will feel left out and insufficient. Really? Ask Sakshi Malik. India’s freestyle wrestler and Olympic medalist. This 25-year-old is not just beauty and brains but brawn too.
This is no longer a man’s world. It never was. There are many female sportspersons who would love to play many games but are being discouraged because of gender stereotype. Extreme sports such as snowboarding, motocross racing etc. The only way these women make a name for themselves is by ensuring that they do not succumb to being branded because of their gender.


Media Coverage
According to statistics of a prominent university, almost 40% of all the participants in sports are female. That is almost half. Well, considering the fact that half the world’s population is women, this should not be a surprising number. On the contrary. What happened to the other 10% of the women?
So coming back to the point, if 40% of sports persons are women, why is the media coverage on the sports played by women so low? Refer to my older blog - http://blog.fantain.com/2017/06/women-object-of-respect-not.html where I had written about the need for women to be looked at as people and not to be objectified. They should be seen for their skills, talents, and personalities. Media should cover any and all games with fair and objective opinions. I strongly feel that mixed sports will have a fantastic media coverage. This promotes not only women but the sport as well. Yes, it is a challenge; but when has that stopped anyone?


It is time to bring about co-ed sports in a big way. Women have been breaking stereotypes in a big way. There is no reason to use their gender as a deterrent. Sport is a field that should not be sexist. Same-sex sports should no longer be the norm.  The reasons that are used for gender segregation are no longer valid. Mixed sports can make it big.


End of the day, all it takes is determination and strength. Do what you do with pride and you will come on top.
Are you ready to bring on the change?

Indu


Comments

  1. Mixed sport is not as new one wants to believe it is. Olympics has had mixed sports for a while. Rio had 9. Tokyo will have 18. If the pinnacle of sports already has it, we may be a bit too late in celebrating mixed sports as a concept.

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