Still a long way to go... Gender Eqality in Sport

02/11/2012 07:30

“There is still a long way to go", said Professor Celia Brackenridge regarding progress made toward achieving gender equality in sport, as she recently reflected on the honour of being appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to equality and child protection in sport.


In an interview in January, at the time when her own important contributions to sport and society were being publicly recognised, Celia Brackenridge suggested “The media feel that looks are more important than achievement,”  when she highlighted that women’s sport continues to attract less media coverage.  It is precisely on this topic that a proposed European Women and Sport (EWS) project will focus, if European Union for Leonardo funding is approved later this month.  The European-level project will target the issue of under-representation of women’s sport in the media, and culminate in the production of a toolkit of actions to be taken towards increasing media coverage of women’s sport and the achievements of female athletes.


As a founding member of the UK Women’s Sports Foundation Celia Brackenridge has long been a campaigner for gender equality in sport both at home and internationally.  During her time as Director of the Brunel University Centre for Youth Sport and Athlete Welfare (2005-10) she also acted as programme consultant to the IOC Medical Commission Consensus Statement on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport (2007-12) and to the UNICEF working group on violence against children in sport (2007-08).  And although now ‘retired’ from full-time employment, Celia Brackenridge currently balances her role as a research professor and member of the Brunel Centre for Sport, Health and Wellbeing, with the responsibility of chairing the Local Organising Committee for the International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) in Glasgow during July this year.  Gender equality will feature under the programme sub-theme of Eligibility and Inclusion.   


“This OBE is really wonderful, because it is rare that work like Celia’s is recognised as it should be,” were the sentiments of ICSSPE President Margaret Talbot when she learned about this honour.