Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Women's Sport Shows Its Value at the Games

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Women's Sport Shows Its Value at the Games

Article excerpt

WOMEN'S football has for a long time been something of a sideshow in British sport: more honoured than watched, even though the record of teams such as Arsenal has been impressive.

But now with the remarkable success of the British women against Brazil, the situation is changing. The women's team has shown just how good Britain can be; it follows other female successes, starting with Lizzie Armitstead winning a silver medal in cycling. She made the point that the low profile given to ladies' cycling meant that it was much more difficult for them to get funding. And a shortage of money makes it hard to nurture future talent. What is true for cycling is true for other sports.

The esteem in which women's sport other than gymnastics is held by the public can be seen in the demand for seats on the Olympics website. Overwhelmingly, men's events were more popular, with beach volleyball for some reason being one of the exceptions. But once audiences see the women's games in action, they are impressed by the skill and fluency of the players, which compensates for the fact that men are often stronger and faster. …

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