Women in Sport

The Women’s Union is fully committed to equal sports provision for male and female students, applying to athletes at all levels, in college and University sports societies. We are fighting for facilities, funding, media coverage and recognition for women’s sports societies to be proportional to the interest and participation there is in that sport.

Participation in sport, traditionally lower amongst women than men due to social norms, has countless positive effects. We encourage women to maintain an active lifestyle for the positive physical (significant and undeniable health benefits), mental (boosts self confidence, relieves the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression) and social (a great way to meet people) effects.

Get involved in our campaigning for women in sport. The latest data collected by the Women’s Union has shown significant and inexcusable disparities between men’s and women’s sports societies. We want to keep this data current, and challenge the University, colleges and other funders to commit to equality.

Fill out the surveys on sport provision and gender equality:

JCR/MCR Sports officers should have a list of college sports team captains so you could always ask them to forward on the questionnaire.
Please try to impress the importance of responding to these questionnaires; without responses nothing will change. We need a firm basis on which to submit a report to the University asking for better facilities and funding.
Remember, the questionnaires are for both men and women so don’t leave anyone out! Any questions just get in touch with womens-sport [at] cusu.cam.ac.uk.
Return completed surveys to womens-sport [at] cusu.cam.ac.uk

Interesting article about sexualized coverage of female athletes in the olympics:

The Year of the Butt: Olympic (Un)Coverage

aim: what do we want to acheive?

to increase support and funding for women’s sport in Cambridge and to encourage women to participate in sport at every level.

motivation: and why are we doing it?

Given that women’s sport nationally suffers from a lack of publicity, funding and support it’s hardly surprising that women’s sport in Cambridge suffers from the same problem. Women’s teams have existed in large numbers since women entered the men’s colleges in the 1970s, but women’s sport still receives little attention and even less funding.

This year, CUSU and the Women’s Union want to redress this balance and improve support and funding for both university wide and college based sports teams, and to encourage women to participate in sport at all levels. Where women are given an equal opportunity to succeed in sport, they do succeed. Sexism has no place in sport, but women definitely do.

a: support

There are many ways that women’s sport can be supported, and it goes beyond the financial.

So we want…

  • To encourage male and female students to attend women’s sports events and support college and university teams.
  • To give women’s teams practical information on sourcing funding, writing press releases and organising events.
  • To work with college student unions to ensure that sports teams are funded without gender bias and that women’s teams are given the support and funding they deserve from their JCRs.
  • To look into the way that the sport’s community is represented within CUSU and within the university, so that sportswomen are better represented on university and student union committees.
  • To work with external organisations like the Women’s Sport Foundation, so that our local campaign works in conjunction with the national movement to improve coverage and support of women’s sport

b: coverage

It’s vital that women’s sport receives more coverage and publicity, not only because we should recognise the great achievements of our sports women, but because greater coverage and publicity makes it much easier for women’s teams to find funding.

So we want…

  • To improve the way that women’s trials, fixtures and results are publicised and reported.

c: participation

Regardless of whether you play badminton for your county, attend yoga to destress or you’re learning a new sport for the first time, we want to encourage all women to get involved in sport.

So we want…

  • To publicise the CU Women In Sport website, so that all women know about the sports offered in Cambridge, the facilities available, events organised and how to get involved.
  • To encourage women to participate in sports at all levels and promote the benefits of sport

Useful contacts….

CU Women in Sport Website

The Women’s Union website is looking into compiling information about facilities and funding for women’s sports teams/societies throughout the University and colleges. If you are interested in this, please contact the Women’s Sabb at womens [at] cusu.cam.ac.uk.

The Ospreys

The sporting and social focus for female athletes in Cambridge. Members have been awarded Blues, half Blues or second Team Colours played at University level. More information here.

The Women’s Sport Foundation

The UK’s leading organisation dedicated to improving and promoting opportunities for women and girls in sport. More information here.