Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Twelve teams will be competing for the title of World Champion right in our own back yard, at Twickenham Stoop. That's right: Britain, hosting a World Cup. So why haven’t we heard more about it in the press?
It seems to me to be symptomatic of a wider problem – the media’s general lack of interest in women’s sport. It’s not as if sports fans themselves aren’t interested – women’s tennis has become increasingly fashionable, and their games are often more entertaining than the men’s. Our girls have had some great victories too: the England women’s cricket team, which won the Ashes last year, was hailed as one of the most successful English sports teams in history. Women’s Footballer Mia Hamm recently retired, ending her career as the most prolific scorer – male or female – in international football, with 158 goals in 276 games for the US.
Male sports stars dominate the media, even when they’re not competing. In the past few months, alone the front pages have been full of the extra-marital exploits of Ashley Cole and Peter Crouch; then there’s Franck Ribéry’s involvement in an alleged under-age prostitution ring, and the Rugby Football Union court case concerning the Harlequins ‘Bloodgate’ scandal.
If the men are going to behave so badly, surely it’s time to give the girls their chance to shine?