Women’s Sport vs. the Media – Newspaper Round up

paula radcliffe

Good evening all, welcome to this late edition of the newspaper round up.  The delay was down to me doing what every Londoner likes to do on Marathon day and go, stand, watch and applaud the brave athletes taking part whilst secretly vowing to never ever run more than about 5km ever again.  Its seeing the men with bleeding nipples where their running vests have rubbed them raw that always gets me.  Anyway, on with the round up:

The Sunday Telegraph

The STel for once have not fully ignored women, having a NIB mentioning Britain Non Stanford’s second place finish in the San Diego leg of the World Triathlon Series and an article featuring Laura Robson’s success in the Fed Cup so far (She has now unfortunately lost to Ormaechea) And that’s about it.

The Sunday Mirror

Ah the Sunday Football. I know we mock it so, but actually the Mirror’s weekly mention of women’s football in the football supplement of the paper is one of the only things giving us serious hope at the moment and the only regular feature on any women’s sport throughout all the titles we review each week.  This week the focus is on Ellen White and her hope for Arsenal to not have their third successive Euro semi-final exit.  Sadly this wasn’t to be after they went down to Wolfsberg 2-1 in the second leg of their Champion’s league semi final campaign this morning, making it 4-1 on aggregate and meaning the girls miss a cup final at Stamford Bridge this May.

The Independent on Sunday

As far as actual coverage of women playing sport goes in this week’s Indie on Sunday readers are limited to a short write up of Laura Robson’s Fed Cup match storm against Florencia Moliner.  This isn’t great for a publication that often has the back of female athletes.

There is also talk of women in and around the sporting world with Haroon Khan (Amir’s) little brother upsetting his mother by taking part in his first professional boxing match and a passionate memorial written by Michael Calvin about the Hillsborough campaigner, Anne Williams, who passed away earlier this week aged 60.  That is all however that the Indie has to offer this week, something it could definitely try harder with me thinks.

The Sunday Times

The ST has so far been the only paper to acknowledge that women also take part in the marathon and although the majority of the page is dedicated to an interview with the unstoppable Richard Whitehead (who is soon to run 40 marathons in 40 days for various amazing causes) Edna Kiplagat, Tiki Gelena and Tatyana McFadden are cited as the women to watch in today’s race.  On the same page there’s also a box out mentioning former world Taekwondo welterweight champion Sarah Stevenson’s retirement from the sport after undergoing a hip operation last week.  Stevenson will be thoroughly missed from the sport and is seen as a trailblazer for women’s taekwondo, becoming the first British woman to ever win an Olympic medal in the sport when she picked up bronze in 2008.   She was also the recipient of the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award in 2011, something the paper makes sure its readers aware of, however perhaps not an award you want to draw people’s attention to when going on to feature such incredibly poor levels of sportswomen in your publication.

The Observer

FINALLY! It’s taken 5 papers to get there, but finally one newspaper has mentioned Sarah Taylor’s début in senior men’s cricket as wicket keeper for Walmley Cricket Club in their match against Barnet Green yesterday.  She also scored an unbeaten 54 runs, a performance she hopes will begin chipping out a pathway for women within the county clubs.

The Observer is also the only newspaper to team up the idea of Marathon day and the British queen of marathons, Paula Radcliffe.  In 2003 Radcliffe smashed the marathon world record on home turf, setting a whopping 2 hours 15 mins 25 secs that nobody has even come close to beating.  (Today’s winner Priscah Jeptoo ran 2hours 20 mins 15 secs, a time that would have brought her home nearly 5 minutes after Paula in 2003) In fact no woman has even come within 2 and a half mins of Radcliffe’s world record time.  Seriously, if you do nothing else today, go read Anna Kessel’s article on this race and remember the level of respect we should have for Paula.  The piece is also a very fitting end to Kessel’s stint as athletics correspondent at the Observer/Guardian where she’s provided some fantastic coverage of female athletes in both athletics and football.

Like its counterparts there’s also a  NIB on Standford’s San Diego triathlon 2nd place as well as a report on Robson’s win in the Fed Cup, making the Observer contain about double the coverage of women’s sport than any other Sunday paper we’ve reviewed this week.  Nonsensical isn’t it?


Image from http://themiddlemiles.blogspot.co.uk/ (thanks)



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