Until the last paper I read through this introduction was due to be a highly sarcastic one about how, apart from riding and training some nags for some race yesterday, women hadn’t really played any sport at all according to the press. However my display of the lowest form of wit has been held in check to be saved for another day. So let us begin:
The Sunday Mirror
Ah the Sunday Football does what it always does, talk about football, ALL THE FOOTBALL and then include a small reference to women’s game also. We can’t fault it for that as the Sunday Football is still the only paper we go through that regularly features women’s football in its pull out football supplement, however it would be nice if the sports pages of the paper itself could feature some more stories on women’s sport. This week Casey Stoney is quoted as expecting the same result against Canada in England’s friendly tonight as produced in the final of the Cyprus Cup last month (that’s a win btw – as the press didn’t really report on this achievement at all: England women won the cup 1-0 after facing Olympic bronze medallists Canada in the final). This will also be Rachel Yankey’s 125th cap for England if she plays, equalling the record set by Peter Shilton. Well done that girl.
The Sunday Telegraph
Once again the STel has chosen to ignore women’s sport apart from the mention of it as a passing comment within the context of a male dominated environment. At least they do have the good grace to inform its readers that Auroras Encore’s (not Auroras Uncle as I thought he was called) win of the Grand National makes his trainer Sue Smith only the 3rd female trainer to have a National winner, behind Jenny Pitman (1983, 1995) and Venitia Williams (2009).
The Independent on Sunday
Apart from the cover story on the Grand National, there’s very little reporting on women playing sport in the IndieS today, which is disappointing as I usually pin a lot of hope on this paper being one of the sensible ones. There’s a story near the back by Alan Hubbard on the leading ladies of sports organisations, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Sue Campbell, on their various potential and new employment roles in other national sport organisations – did you know that in her near decade as head of UK Sport Campbell has overseen the investment of £347 in Britain’s sporting elite? Interestingly there’s also a small box out on the back page with a comment from Michael Calvin in his ‘Last Word’ page on how Olympic road cycling champion Marianne Vos recently received a kiss from a podium boy after her win at the Ronde van Drenthe race. As Calvin points out, this was a bit of a breakthrough for women kind as maybe it will cause people to grow up and question the point of pit babes or boxing bimbettes. Derogatory terms to be fair, but you can see where he’s coming from – its interesting how the tables can turn when the boot/pr glamour role is on the other foot/gender.
The Sunday Times
I obviously got the good week for The Sunday Times, with the paper displaying a really impressive range of women’s sporting action. There’s a report of the Grand National, as to be expected, but with a specific reference to the success of the female trainers and Katie Walsh in this year’s race (both Aurora’s Encore and 3rd place TeaforThree were trained by women). There’s then a piece on Pippa Wilson, part of the triumphant ‘Three Blondes in a Boat’ Yngling team from Beijing 2008 (don’t get me started on the name) and her return to sailing after a few years away to, as she puts it, ‘sit down, have a cup of tea and make some friends’ ie. have a life after 10 years of nothing but sailing. On the opposite page there’s also an article on the national modern pentathlon championships that has just crowned London 2012 Silver medallist Samantha Murray its champion, no mean feat when you look at those competing including Beijing silver medallist Heather Fell and reigning world champ Mhairi Spence. Finally there’s a box out of Serena William’s 54 min thrashing of her sister Venus yesterday. Phew.
There’s no Observer today as i’m back at my family home in the shire where the local shop only buys in about 3 copies, all of which had managed to sell out before I got to them. I could have bought a copy of The Sun or the Mail to fill this void, but couldn’t handle the guilt of feeding that particular machine.
Image from http://www.sportinglife.com (thanks!)