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Women’s Sport no longer the poor cousin of Men’s competitions

Women’s sport has come along way since the late 1800s when slowly but surely it made its way into curriculums for girl’s schools.

In those days, sports that didn’t rattle old school gender definitions were ‘encouraged’ by the Australian government.

Unlike today where Women compete in every sport where Men are fielded, think everything from UFC and boxing through to rugby and gridiron, one hundred years ago many (Men and Women alike) raised their collective eyebrows when considering that their Mothers and Daughters might actually risk injury or worse playing in certain gladiatorial contests.

The Australian Ladies Championship in 1894 changed the landscape in Geelong with Women competing in a competition usually reserved for Men, and over the coming decades Bowls, Hockey, Rowing and Athletics formed Women’s specific governing bodies.

Unlike core battle theatres in World War II such as Europe and Asia, which saw Men’s and Women’s tournaments suspended for years, Australia’s competitions by-and-large continued, which in turn saw a surge in female participation and sporting body amalgamations – many male and female associations merged, with the Australian Athletic Union formed in 1977.

In 1985 this momentum continued with Olympian Dawn Fraser becoming the first female to be inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame.

Some surveys now suggest that more females participate in regular sport and regular physical activity than males, while Women’s attendance at live events continues to grow.

This has been underpinned by the ANZ Championship, of which BLK Sport is a proud apparel partner, with Australasia’s premier domestic netball tournament growing their audience numbers by 15-20% per year.

Now announcements regarding new competitions seem to be building impressive momentum.

Recently it was revealed that in 2017 the AFL will launch their inaugural Women’s competition, with three BLK sides among the eight teams that will compete.

Netball Australia, another BLK partner, will launch a new stand-alone competition next year with unprecedented free-to-air coverage while the Women’s Cricket Big Bash League will be broadcast separate from Men’s events for the first time in history.

This coincides with the 2016 Summer Olympics, where BLK apparel partners USA and Fiji Rugby will field Women’s Sevens teams to compete against the best in the world – with the latter gunning for Pacific Island Nation’s first ever Medal of any colour.

BLK is proud to play an integral role in Women’s Sport through not only our support of elite teams in a range of sports but through the thousands of players that participate in their chosen sport.

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