A league of their own

You throw like a girl!

For decades that’s been the go to insult shouted on sports fields, directed toward anyone who makes a bad toss.

In essence that phrase is the epitome of the notion girl athletes are inferior and have no place in sports. At the grassroots, that line of thinking steers young girls away from sports, lest they be thought of as ‘unlady like’ should they be athletic. At the elite level, it’s that same thinking that causes large pay gaps between the different gendered super stars, thereby forcing the top women athletes to seek day jobs to supplement their income while their male counterparts rake in more than some small countries. For a lot of the elite female athletes, training time is cut short, instead replaced by working a second job just to pay the bills.

Recently the wage gap between genders in professional sports has been thrust into the spotlight by the World Cup winning U.S. women’s soccer team. Despite the fact they generate more revenue than their male counterparts, they continue to be paid a fraction of what male players are given. Hopefully more progress on this issue is made and more women athletes are given the opportunity to reach their full potential, thus drawing more fans to their respective sport.

Fortunately here in Greater Napanee, this community has been ahead of the curve when it comes to providing opportunities for female athletes. Too often local sports teams don’t have enough registration for a girls team. If they’re lucky, the handful of girls who do want to play are allowed to join a boys team. Greater Napanee on the other hand boasts strong numbers with both the Napanee Crunch and Napanee Express. Any young ladies who do play with the Napanee Stars do so because they want to, not because it’s their only option. NDSS also offers a girls equivalent to all the sports they play at KASSAA, with some ladies joining the football program in recent years.

Not every girl who picks up a softball glove, hockey stick, running cleats or football helmet is going to go pro. In fact a very tiny percentage of any athletes, male or female, ever reach the big leagues in their respective disciplines. And that’s perfectly alright. As residents who visit the Fairgrounds this weekend to watch the PWSA softball qualifier will see, girls who are encouraged to play their favourite sport for the love of the game can do amazing things. They might make an error here and there or strike out, but more importantly they’ll be creating memories and forming friendships that will last long after they’ve stopped playing. They’re learning teamwork, leadership and dedication, all while being active and having fun.

These girls work just as hard as the boys do at developing their skills and more than a few of them will prove throwing like a girl can be a good thing.

-Adam Prudhomme

error: Content is protected !!