The governing body is pushing to make the game more welcoming for women – but is change happening fast enough?
Traditionally men were given two “championship” green and purple towels, while women received two “seasonal” ones, which in 2019 were pink and turquoise. But this year, for the first time, players are receiving one of each when they step on court.
"One of the biggest blocks for women to cycling is a perceived safety risk. But during the pandemic women perhaps felt safer to take to their bicycles, thanks to some temporary infrastructure improvements and quieter roads.”
Hope and determination abound despite the profound challenges brought by coronavirus.
What started out as a “crazy ambition” yesterday ended in a world record as the British runner Susannah Gill successfully completed seven marathons across seven continents in seven days to win the gruelling World Marathon Challenge in the fastest time by a women athlete.
“I don’t want to bash the heptathlon, which is an amazing event,” says Becca Peter, the event’s athlete co-ordinator. “But it is less demanding than the decathlon, which is widely seen as finding the world’s best all-round athlete. What kind of message does that send to women and girls? In effect, they are being told they can’t be the world’s greatest athlete, that they can’t do as many events as men. And that isn’t right.”
Part of the problem, according to some inside it, is that the organisation remains overly hierarchical when it comes to the relationship between coaches and athletes – the legacy of British bobsleigh’s historic links with the military.