What is the problem with women’s sports in Ireland?

Well for starters, it doesn’t get enough recognition. If you asked most people in this country to name three players at least on the Ireland rugby team I’m sure about 90% of them could and more. But if you asked them to name any of the players on the women’s team would you get the same result? This is highly unlikely. There is no specific reason for this. The media coverage of women’s sports is slowly increasing and this should benefit it greatly.

Irish Flag. Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/

Irish Flag. Photo Credit: Smemom (Flickr)

It is old news at this stage that when it comes to sport the focus is very much on men. AN example of this is a few weeks ago Ireland played France in the six nations; I;m sure most of the country watched it. But how much of the population stayed in their seat to watch the women’s match that was on almost immediately afterwards? Well from where I was sat at the time many people left the room.

The media and broadcasting companies play a huge part in the promotion of women’s sporting fixtures. The Journal.ie conducted a poll last year to get an idea of how many people would consider watching the women’s rugby world cup. As you can see the figures were not in the teams favour. Thankfully some Irish broadcasters are making a change to how women’s sports are watched on TV; last year RTE broadcast all Women’s six nations matches, by doing so this also increased the viewing numbers.

This is just one example of the power the media has in highlighting important issues. Another first for Irish sports broadcasting is that eir are now prioritising the GAA matches played at the weekend; this means that women’s games can be shown before the men’s for the first time. This is a huge step forward for women in sport in Ireland. With the amount of young girls who participate in sports both in and out of school, this advancement could be the thing that changes these numbers.

Gender equality is on the rise once again and this year in particular has been a huge stand for it. Between the ‘Time’s Up’ campaign and the celebration of 100 years since the suffragette movement, this year had been a milestone for praising women.