Head of Sport

Journey of Women’s Sport

As we begin our final term of sport and activities for 2016, we naturally find ourselves reflecting on the achievements of our young Loreto women and recognising their contribution to sport through their participation and competitive performances. We have seen our students succeed as part of teams and as individuals within their respective sporting competitions, many of whom  have represented at State, National and even International level. Without dismissing these outstanding individual achievements, I believe that the greatest achievement for these young women has been their contribution to sport as a bigger picture at Loreto Normanhurst and in the wider community.

This year 82% of students at Loreto Normanhurst participated in a sport, an increase of 40% over the past 10 years. Overall our sporting teams are competing as a top 7 IGSSA school at Carnivals and within IGSSA and Invitational competitions, mainly placing within the top 5. These young women are incredibly dedicated, and their skills and abilities are deserving of respect as our participation in sport continues to rise.

There was much conversation in the lead up to this year’s Olympics that echoed a similar discovery in the increase of women’s participation in Sport, and one that may be a driving influence on the increased participation we are seeing within our school community. Women first competed in the modern Olympics in 1900 when they made up 22 of 997 athletes. In 2016 at the Rio Olympics, Australia reached gender parity for the first time at a summer Olympics, with more women than men representing their country. Australia’s first female Chef de Mission, Kitty Chiller said “Gender balance has been something that has been incredibly important in the Olympic movement, and particularly to Australia. It’s a very strong statement and it shows that women’s sport is genuine sport. It is elite competition just as much as the male has been over time.” Outside of the Olympics however, attendance at women’s sporting events is low. As we’ve heard more and more in recent news surrounding women’s AFL and Cricket, salaries are non-existence or are rarely enough to live on. Considering the ‘strong statement’ our women are making in the sporting arena, women’s sport is still going underreported.

We’ve seen the potential in women’s sport within our Loreto and wider community. Women in sport will continue to face its challenges and be challenged, but these women are unwavering and resolute. I am excited to see the future growth of women’s sport in Australia and confident that our young Loreto women will be part of its journey.

 

Mrs Jasmine Palmer

Head of Sport