Fact: There are more males than females at the elite level of sport.
Fact: Mend tend to earn more in marketing and sponsorship, or simply in salaries.
Fiction: Female athletes are at a disadvantage due to their very femininity.
Or is it fiction?
A new research project coming up at the Central Coast campus of the University of Newcastle (UON) will be looking at just that: the effects of female physiology in the sports field.
And the call is out for Coasties to sign up for the study.
UON Researcher Belinda Thompson is after local ladies aged 18 to 40 years of age to help test the theory that women are at a distinct disadvantage at certain times of their cycle.
“There is a lack of research on the effect that these hormones have on strength training outcomes as most of the research is performed on males who have a completely different hormonal profile. There is some evidence that estrogen has a protective/anabolic effect on muscle while progesterone is thought to have an opposing effect.”
They’re after healthy volunteers aged 18-40 years who either have a regular menstrual cycle or who are taking oral contraceptives. If you fit the bill you’d need to attend the UON campus at Ourimbah for 4 sessions over a month for about an hour at a time for strength assessments and strength-training exercises.
Ms Thompson says the information will be used to create a strength training program that takes advantage of the hormonal fluctuations, and levels out the playing field for women. The research will also examine “the effect of the menstrual cycle or oral contraceptives on body composition measures.”
Each participant will receive a full report of their results.
In the meantime, the number 1 game for girls – Netball – has taken 1 step forward, but potentially 2 steps back ahead of their governing body's AGM this week.
The sport is ranked as the most popular for team participation with Aussie females, with close to a million women and girls registered to play (886,875, according to the Australian Sports Commission).
Netball is the 2nd most popular activity for any Australians undertaking sports and physical recreation aged 15 and over (Aerobics/Fitness came in #1), with 8 times more women than men taking to the court.
It’s also in the top 10 spectator sports overall, it’s even produced the most successful international team in the game.
But a landmark proposal set to cement its spot as the most female friendly of all could be taken off the board, penalising players by taking away the increased pay and family-friendly conditions including private health insurance and child care.
Originally, in addition to all players being offered 12-month contracts, the average salary was set to rise from about $40,000 a year to over $67k p.a.
The deal, originally discussed in September 2016, also had clubs covering costs for children under 12 months of age and a carer to travel with their mother, plus health insurance and income protection for up to 2 years.
It was supposed to be the first steps towards a fully professional league, and put women athletes on more equal footing with the fellas.
But now the deal is on shaky ground.
After the Chair of Netball Australia, Anne-Marie Corboy, left late last month, rumours abound that the association is considering reneging on the deal altogether – winding back pay and conditions to pre September ’16. There was even talk of industrial action by top level players.
This will all come to a head at the AGM. To read the official statement from the national Netball body, click the pic.
At a local level, across the Coast there are approximately 2500 registered players and 20 clubs in and around Gosford, with 22 clubs and over 2700 members in the Wyong area, plus 6 clubs at Woy Woy.
For more about playing on the peninsula, get along to Ettalong Beach on April 29 for the Open Day, 11am-4pm.
Star104.5 is a proud supporter of Gosford Netball, Woy Woy Peninsula and Wyong District Netball Associations.