Gender plays a crucial role in sport. For years, the masculine identity has been labelled as powerful, dominant and strong. These characteristics fit nicely with the criteria of a proper athlete and therefore men are more so viewed as the key gender to be represented in sport. With women on the sidelines, in the past, they have fit under the cheerer leaders and supporters of sport. Women have been portrayed as weak and emotional people for many years and this has not helped their battle in gaining the support they need to change the idea of sports being dominated by men.
In society, hockey, a popular sport that involves strength and power, has been more so associated with the male population rather than females. The presence of this ideology has put constraints on females from participating in this sport.
There has been a large amount of research associated with men having an unfair higher amount of opportunity to play sport when compared to women. It has been strongly argued that society views men as more dominant in sport than men. This allows the opportunities and resources that are provided for men to be more accessible and have less restriction because there is greater significance in men’s sport.
In recent news, a hockey program, Senior FUNdamentals, has been created to give women an opportunity. The goal by the directors of the program has been “to focus on an untapped group – women over the age of 23”. The desire behind this goal was generated by the fact that women in this generation, at approximately 23 and older, have missed out on a sport such as hockey. Fortunately, young girls are experiencing an increase in the opportunity for women in sport as the years go on.
This opportunity for these women had been missed because their parents saw it as a sport for boys and men; instead, they were enrolled in figure skating or other sports that lacked the physical exertion or potential of getting hurt. The program was immediately a success and reached its maximum in 34 participants. On another note, women were not charged for registration which encouraged more to play. It was described as a “fun, positive and welcoming environment”. Now, the program has continued to grow and it runs weekly the month of April in the Vale Health and Wellness Centre in Port Colbourne.