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Swimming against the tide

Someone else will have to determine whether true Rusters are old-fashioned, out of touch, fuddy-duddies who want the world to stop spinning so that they can get off, or whether from time to time we have rational and worthy points to make about the way the world is developing.

However, if being resolutely cynical about the modern politically-correct-driven campaign to improve media coverage and the commercial realities of elite female sport amounts to little more than misguided ‘last of the dying embers’ of sexist male tilting at windmills, then so be it.

To cut to the chase.

Much of the current ‘media noise’ and general campaigning designed to improve the lot of elite sportswomen is carried along upon an underlying conviction that – by increasing coverage, pay and commercial opportunities within female sport – not only will the cause of ‘equality between the sexes be advanced as a matter of principle but in addition the health and fitness of women in the general population will improve via increased female sports participation and thereby issues such as the growing obesity crisis that we keep being told about positively addressed.

Which brings me once more to the angle I keep banging on about.

All these grand designs – whether grounded in fact, logic and/or idealistic notions of how society ought to be – too often only go to serve the interests of the ‘elite achievers’, whether these be in industry, commerce, academia, politics or any other walk of life.

And when it comes to women and sport, the current vogue for campaigning amongst the ‘chattering classes’ tends to have scant relevance to the vast bulk of the female population who are too busy trying to earn a crust and bring up their kids – just ‘muddle through’ to borrow a phrase once uttered by the Prime Minister – to find either the time or inclination to get out there and take exercise at all, let alone train for half-marathons in the cause of improving their health.

In this context, I call in evidence the following report by Nicola Davis upon the findings of a survey published by researchers from Duke University in North Carolina, USA, as appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN








About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts