I learnt something this week & it’s something I’m a little ashamed of.
I learnt that my about to be 7 year old daughter has no female sporting heroes, and it made me sad.
Oaks is in year 1 at school this year & it’s really the first time that organised activities have become the norm with her & her friends. They are inundated with options, T-ball, Basketball, Ready Net Go, Auskick to list just a few & I’m stoked that my kids have all those options available to them & I’m determined that Oaks can give as many of them a go as she likes until she finds the right fit for her.
Oaks has always taken dancing classes but I was keen for her to take on a team sport as well this year. I think it’s an important life lesson working with a team, especially with kids from other schools she doesn’t know. We have friends involved in hockey & they suggested Minkey. There was a group of kids from Oaks class joining, it’s 5 minutes from home, I like that both boys & girls play & it has an open bar for drinks (hey, it’s a Friday afternoon people!), perfect! Oaks loves it!
So one night this week Oaks & I snuggle up on the couch to watch the Hockeyroos play at the Commonwealth Games. Our conversation went something like this:
Oaks: “Mum, these are girls!” (amazed!)
Me: “Yep, these are the best girls in Australia at hockey, so they get to play for Australia”
Oaks: “Do they play hockey all the time?”
Me: “Yes! Just like you!”
Oaks: “Wow, they are really fast & strong” (awestruck!)
I don’t play sport & Oaks doesn’t have an older sister to look up to.
When I thought about it, she doesn’t even get to see any women play sport on TV, not in prime time anyway. She’s been raised on a steady diet of AFL, NBL & cricket. I could list another 10 sports that we watch or listen to regularly on TV & radio, but none of them are women.
How sad! Starting right now, there’s going to be lots more women in sport in our house, the Commonwealth Games being on makes that easy for now! And I’m going to make sure that she understands that she can try, do & succeed at any sport she likes just like the boys!
Do the little girls in your life have female sporting role models? Do you play sport?