Finding Roller Derby: Empowering Women in Sport and Transforming Liveswordpress,rollerderby,womeninsport,empowerment,transformation,sports,women'sempowerment,rollerskating,community,fitness
Finding Roller Derby: Empowering Women in Sport and Transforming Lives

Finding Roller Derby: Empowering Women in Sport and Transforming Lives

5 minutes, 19 seconds Read

Women in Sport: Breaking down barriers through lesser known sports

The Confidence Struggle

Women face numerous challenges when it comes to participating in sports, from lack of confidence to fear of injury. A recent Sport Wales survey highlighted that men are more likely than women to view regular exercise as important and have the confidence to be physically active. Laura Morgan, a player of the Tiger Bay Brawlers women’s roller derby club in Cardiff, shared her personal journey of how roller derby changed her life and the barriers she had to overcome.

Laura explained that confidence is a major hurdle for many women looking to participate in physical activities. The perception of roller derby as a fierce and strong sport can be intimidating for women who are not used to exercising. The lack of representation and visibility of women participating in such sports further exacerbates this issue. Hannah Bayfield, another player of the Tiger Bay Brawlers, emphasized the importance of visibility, stating that if women don’t see other women engaging in these activities, they may not believe they can do it themselves.

Likewise, Liz Ayres, a climber from Boulders climbing centre in Cardiff, expressed that women often feel ashamed or embarrassed about their lack of confidence when entering a climbing centre. The social stigma and negative experiences from their past can discourage women from engaging in sports altogether. Alix Lancaster, the women’s coach at Rhondda Dragons dodgeball club, highlighted the role of women pioneers in setting up lesser-known sports clubs. By removing barriers and creating safe spaces, women can feel more comfortable and confident participating in sports.

Representation and Role Models

The power of representation cannot be understated in attracting women to sports. Hannah Bayfield emphasized the significant difference in society’s understanding and acceptance of men participating in sports compared to women. She mentioned that visibility plays a crucial role in breaking down barriers, and without female role models, women may lack the confidence to join or continue participating in sports.

Alix Lancaster highlighted the importance of encouragement and support in retaining women in sports. She noted that women who lack confidence need someone to believe in them and encourage their participation. Without this support, women may become discouraged and not return to the sport. Shanti Bihet, the youngest player on the dodgeball team, acknowledged the positive impact of warm welcomes and support from other women. Hannah Bayfield echoed this sentiment, stating that the inclusive and diverse nature of lesser-known sports makes them more comfortable and accessible to newcomers.

The Perception of Risk and Injury

Women’s concerns about the possibility of injury and the perception of risk can also be barriers to their participation in sports. Laura Morgan recounted the story of a fellow roller derby player who had to quit due to the risk of injury. The fear of not being able to fulfill caring responsibilities, such as being a single mother, can discourage women from engaging in sports that are considered dangerous. Laura also brought attention to societal double standards, where men with sports-related injuries receive sympathy, while women are often questioned for participating in such sports.

Similarly, Liz Ayres noted that society tends to push women towards more sedentary hobbies, perpetuating the belief that women are delicate and not suited for rough-and-tumble activities. However, she emphasized that this perception is changing, and climbing centres are becoming more inclusive. It is crucial to challenge these stereotypes and create an environment where women feel empowered to participate in physically demanding activities.

The Power of Community and Mental Health Benefits

In addition to the physical benefits, the women interviewed highlighted the significant impact of lesser-known sports on their mental health. Hannah Bayfield shared that joining roller derby had completely transformed her life, enabling her to become mentally strong through the realization of her physical strength. The feeling of being part of a community and building friendships was also emphasized as a significant advantage of engaging in smaller sports.

Liz Ayres described climbing as a true community, which has kept her involved in the sport for ten years. Alix Lancaster added that women often need a supportive group, especially when they relocate to a new place and lack friends. Lesser-known sports provide a nurturing environment that is less intimidating and more inclusive, reducing the stigma and negativity associated with women’s participation.

In conclusion, lesser-known sports have the potential to break down barriers for women in sport. By promoting confidence, representation, supportive role models, and inclusive communities, these sports provide women with the opportunity to challenge societal norms and realize their physical and mental strength. It is essential to continue advocating for the recognition and support of such sports to encourage more women to participate and reap the transformative benefits they offer.


Finding Roller Derby: Empowering Women in Sport and Transforming Lives
<< photo by Darina Belonogova >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

You might want to read !


Edwards Jake

G'day, I'm Jake Edwards, the man on the street. I've been crisscrossing this great country, bringing you the human stories that make Australia what it is. From interviews with local legends to the everyday Aussie battlers, I'm here to tell your stories. So let's yarn, Australia

Similar Posts