Women’s Sport vs. The Media – Newspaper Roundup

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This week’s newspaper roundup comes from in front of Joe Root’s bid to become the third youngest England batsman to make a double century, doing so against a determinedly ground down Australia side.  This isn’t the Ashes experience this writer grew up with…

The Sunday Mirror

Some common themes for this week’s sport coverage: The Ashes (but, unsurprisingly, not the women’s Ashes); The Open (but, unsurprisingly, not the women’s Open); football summer transfers (but, unsurprisingly, not women’s football summer transfers).

The Sunday Mirror does at least give us a couple of blasts of women’s sport, including its ever-reliable women’s football mini-column, unsurprisingly focussed on England’s failure at Euro 2013 and call for supporters to keep the faith from England captain Casey Stoney.  There’s also News File mentions for Hannah Cockroft’s stunning gold medal winning performance at the IPC World Championships, and Rebecca Gallantree & Alicia Bragg’s sixth placed finish in the three meter springboard synchro at the Diving World Championships in Barcelona.

The Mail on Sunday

‘What a day to be British’, screams the front page of the Mail on Sunday.  Not a great day to be a British sportswoman, though, with the only recognition of women’s sport coming from a report of the British Olympic Association’s appeal against the IOC’s decision to allow a doping-tinged US 400m relay team to retain their 2004 gold medal, a write-up of Hannah Cockroft’s demolition of the T34 field, and Non Stanford and Jodie Stimpson’s Triathlon World Series 2nd and 3rd place finishes.

The Independent on Sunday

Hannah Cockroft is definitely a woman in the spotlight right now, and The Independent on Sunday turns that focus on to full power with a profile piece that highlights the 20-year-old’s enthusiasm and infectious joy for her sport.  Despite the loss of most of her major sponsorships once the powerful profile of London 2012 faded, Cockroft draws attention to the way public perception has changed; parathletes have not been forgotten outside of the Olympic cycle, in the way that has been so common before.

Women also feature highly in a dedicated Olympic Legacy feature on the importance of medals in increasing future talent pools, with swimming’s failure to reach the anticipated heights covered heavily.  Finally, the prospect of Hope Powell taking an elite development role in women’s football is given short shrift by Trevor Brooking in Tony Leighton’s football column, a statement which perhaps solidifies her position as Head Coach after serious questions had been asked in light of England’s shock group stage exit.

The Sunday Times

Slightly disappointingly, there’s really not a lot to go on in this week’s Sunday Times.  The roundup feature is probably the best part of the paper this week, with England’s semi-final defeat to the USA in the Lacrosse World Cup, England Women’s rugby’s 3-0 series defeat to New Zealand and Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg’s World Championship performances all mentioned.

Sponsorship erosion in the post-Olympic world is also covered in some depth, with Jade Jones, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Jessica Ennis-Hill (as the exception to the struggles felt by many) covered from a women’s perspective.

There’s also a mention of John Inverdale’s presence on the BBC’s coverage of The Open, which takes a distinctly neutral line to his Wimbledon final comments.  Enough has been said about The Sportist‘s views on this to say no more for now.

The Sunday Telegraph

Tiny, brief mentions for Hannah Cockroft and Rebecca Gallantree & Alicia Blagg is your absolute lot from The Sunday Telegraph today.  There is a massive amount of coverage for The Open, though, which we have no doubt the Telegraph readership will be delighted by.  No women allowed, after all.

The Observer

Instinctively, this writer always saves The Observer for last in the Newspaper Roundup.  It just feels like the best hedge bet for good women’s sport coverage.  This week, though, is moderately disappointing with most of the paper’s focus being The Open and The Ashes.  There is a write up of England’s series whitewash against New Zealand in Rugby Union and some genuinely interesting pen portraits on the unlikely stars of London 2012 and their journeys in the 12 months since (our personal favourites, Sarah Attar; McKayla Maroney; Ye Shiwen, but unfortunately that’s the lot and we’re forced to end on a low note.  For shame.

 

And, with that, we’re done for another week.  And Root didn’t quite manage to make his double century.  Still, if we see an innings that good from any of England’s batters in the forthcoming women’s Ashes series, there’ll be a great chance of putting some of the pain of last year’s one day and 20/20 defeats to bed.

Image from telegraph.co.uk – Thanks!

CS

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