Welsh former Olympic cycling champion Nichole Cooke has appealed for gender equality in the coverage of women sports.
“There are some fantastic athletes and some fantastic performances in many sports, but the biggest issue for women’s sport is media coverage,” Nichole Cooke told BBC.
She says the lack of media coverage means so many excellent female sporting role models are ‘invisible’.
Welsh Weightlifter Michaela Breeze, the former two times Olympic champion, holds the same idea as Nichole Cooke. She says “Couldn’t agree more! Women sports deserve more people’s attention”.
Sarah Powell, the Chief Executive Officer for Sport Wales, tweets: “ It is great to see role model and female sport ambassador Nicole Cooke highlighting the need for equality of coverage for female sports.”
Even though 40 per cent of all sports participants are female, women sports receive only 5 per cent of all sport media coverage in the UK according to Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation.
Figures revealed by Sport Wales show that only 33 per cent of women take part in sports compared to 44 per cent of men. And participation by young girls in sports has experienced a decrease over the past few years.
Welsh Ice hockey player Nikki Goodwin said: “Playing has changed my life and given me such confidence; we need to get more girls involved. It’s definitely not a fair playing field when it comes to publicity. Women in the US get so much more coverage.”
Powell also said more attention needs to be given to how sport was reported in the media. She said: “Sport is seen through a male lens and coverage is given to mainstream male sports like football, but these aren’t always the ones that women are interested in.”
By Ying Tian