UKC sport societies have held taster sessions in order to encourage further female participation in sport. These include some typically male dominated sports such as American Football and Rugby, sports that have a high level of contact and aren’t normally associated with women. The point of This Kent Girl Can is to encourage women to participate in sport. A TKGC tagged rugby session runs on October 27th at 12:00 at Parkwood. American Football runs on the 26th at the Sports Centre at 16:00 and will teach ‘how to kick like a punter, catch like a receiver, and throw like a QB’. This will cost £2, with the money donated to the charity Coppa Feel—for breast cancer awareness. This is a great opportunity to support a good cause and try something new, but it also raises some questions about why there are so few mixed sports.
InQuire’s sports website editor Meg Warwick, who is currently second team captain for Women’s Lacrosse, told me of the level of contact differences in Lacrosse and the implications of this in the sense that it would make it more difficult to implement men and females lacrosse teams into one. I also spoke to 1st team Rugby’s Demi Kuteyi who thinks that ‘mixed sports are a great concept as long as the sport is introduced to both genders at a similar age. Eventually physiological differences between men and women will mean that it may not be appropriate for them to play full contact or semi contact sports’.
There are reasons why women and men cannot always be part of the same sports teams that are often due to concerns over safety, biology, and implementation. On campus we have a variety of sports that are mixed, although these are mainly racket based sports. These include Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton, and Squash. To see what mixed sports are like in practice and what it is like to be part of a highly male dominated team at UKC, I got in contact with Kent Falcon’s Samira Conteh and asked her about what it is like to be in a majority male team. The Falcon’s have been very involved with This Kent Girl Can. Samira explained: ‘It was a daunting experience at first because despite knowing that it’s a mixed sport, I was still essentially joining an all boys team’. She added: ‘It was weird being the only girl and I didn’t expect to stick it out. But I’m so glad I did’. Being a part of a male majority sport at UKC should not be as intimidating an experience it first appears. The Kent Falcons seem very welcoming and can boast their success in recruiting more girls for the team this year.
It’s so important that we encourage more women into sports that are predominantly associated with men, and TKGC is the perfect opportunity for women to do exactly that.