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Posted on 21st march 2018 by THE ERIC TEAM

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Expand the roles for women in sports

“You throw like a girl”. Within society there is still this gender underpinning that sports is very much a male-dominated industry. Reported by The Independent, 40% of women face gender discrimination in the sport industry. Yet it begs the question; is the driving force male superiority or female insecurity? In terms of taking part in sports, a study by ‘This Girl Can’ concluded that many women are put off taking part in physical activity due to a fear of judgement – this might be about the way they look when they exercise, that they’re not good enough to join in or thinking they should be spending more time on their families, studies or other priorities. 

Knowing the above, shouldn’t more organisations within sport be aiming to change these unhealthy mindsets?

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Remove racism

“People think if you’re black you can’t be both educated and a sportsman”. The words of American professional basketball player Malcolm Brogdon. 53% (2017-2018) of reports of discrimination in football were about racism (released by Kick It Out - a football equality charity). “It’s still overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly white in a world that isn’t overwhelmingly male and white and somehow that has to be changed”, Stated former BBC director general and current chairman of Brentford Football Club. 

Whether it be courtside, fan engagement or at levels of seniority, racism seems to infect every area of sport. We must take action to end this discrimination.

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Improve drug-tests (quality and volume of tests conducted)

Should we allow performance-enhancing drugs in sport, or should we not? If we say yes, would it end the ‘illegal’ undercutting tactics involved with cheating or completely remove the honesty and credibility of what it means to be humanly athletic and a ‘fair’ champion? The BBC Sport poll for 2017 showed that drug use at every level of sport was fast becoming a crisis. Mentioned in the same report was that the cost of a single drug test from UKAD costed approximately £350. With this in mind you can see why tip-toeing around the whole idea of drug ‘mis-use’ is a favoured path. What can be done in that case to not only reduce the costs for testing but to change the reputation surrounding it?

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Stop bribery in sports

Tragic cases have existed and still exist today where true talent is overlooked by how deep the pushy parents’ pockets are. In other words bribing coaches to pick your kid is no new thing to the sporting industry unfortunately. But how exactly can this be changed in a world where money talks? There are policies in place (UK Sport) to alleviate the problem but the question is, are there enough people exercising these policies? What does fairness and policies have to do with who gets recruited when you’re heading off on 5 holidays a year courtesy of uncoordinated Kelly’s filthy rich parents? Doesn’t the sports world need a re-injection of policies to clamp down on bribery or better yet, a re-injection of morals?

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Stop treating Paralympians as second-class athletes

The Huffpost were onto something when they posted their article on paralympians. With an obvious lack of media coverage still prevalent across paralympic sports (although improving), there is still a long way to go. Further to this point, opportunities for disabled people to take part in sport is ‘patchy’ as reported by the BBC. With even the most basic of requirements for disabled users being ignored in cases such as access to changing rooms or even the sporting facility itself. Changes although occurring need to be more vigorous on behalf of disabled people.

Written by Natasha Moore

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