Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Why? Is it the big equipment factor? I manage getting the boat on and off the car mostly by myself - it's not heavy but it is bulky and can get blown around in the wind. Maybe it's the racing factor - to tell the truth I'd much rather just go for a group paddle rather than race especially as I'm going to finish in the tail end of the field every time but if I don't race I'd never meet any other paddlers. Or it could just be the off-shore factor - I'm more confident now I'm in my surf ski (rather than sink prone kayak) but you do need to be brave enough to get right out there into the river by yourself if you are going to be able to compete in the ocean races.
Jon has been doing lots of XC mountain bike races and I've noticed the same thing- almost zero women doing it - the ones who do are generally pretty good - there are way less recreational women who are happy to get out there and have a bash than there are men. I recon with mountain biking that's a confidence thing for sure as whilst I'm brave enough to mix it with the guys in the paddle races, I'm too intimidated by the thought of getting in the way, or not being able to manage the terrain, to go in any of Jon's races.
I guess I'm probably just pretty used to sports where the male/female ratio is more even (orienteering, basketball, ultimate frisbee) so this one-sided thing seems really strange. I wonder if the fact that there are no women, means they don't get new women - actually that's probably true - when it comes to the mountain bike racing, if there were other women of my standard competing I'd be way more likely to give it a go I recon.
I wonder if it even matters at all - should anyone be worrying? I guess people stick longer at sports if their friends do it as well - and a happy social environment has got to be good for any sport.
I guess the next question is how clubs can actively encourage women to participate...