A losing battle? Women's sport pre- and post-COVID-19

Bowes, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5635-106X, Lomax, L. and Piasecki, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-9758-6295, 2021. A losing battle? Women's sport pre- and post-COVID-19. European Sport Management Quarterly, pp. 1-19. ISSN 1618-4742

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Research question: In 2019, women's sport was reported as being on the rise. Increased participation rates, media coverage, investment and support were evident. Following the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, which halted most forms of competitive sport, there were repeated concerns about the future of women’s sport. This research aims to document elite sportswomen’s perceptions of the state of women's sport pre-COVID-19 and the possible impact moving forwards.

Research methods: Ninety five responses from an online, anonymous, qualitative questionnaire completed by elite sportswomen mainly based, in the UK, on the impact of COVID-19 on women's sport were collected. Data were subject to a thematic analysis, to determine key concerns, and the frequency data of responses were quantitatively recorded.

Results and findings: Most sportswomen felt that women’s sport was on an upward trajectory, but many juxtaposed that against inequality compared to men's sport in terms of media coverage and finance. There were concerns that the subordinate position women's sport, with less resources and support, will have severe implications post-COVID-19. However, there were considerations that a pause in sport would allow for personal development, increased participation upon sports return and space for a reconfiguration of sport.

Implications: Those involved in sport are encouraged to think more critically about progress narratives in women's sport. We caution that these hide perpetual, structural and symbolic inequalities and propose that they are positioned more coherently within wider gender equity agenda. This is a process that will require widespread cultural change.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: European Sport Management Quarterly
Creators: Bowes, A., Lomax, L. and Piasecki, J.
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
Date: 13 April 2021
ISSN: 1618-4742
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 23 Apr 2021 14:19
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:03
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42756

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