Sky Sports News investigation finds only three female sports statues in UK Athletics News

27 Jun 2022 | 08:13 | Football



There are only three female sports statues in the UK, an investigation by Sky Sports News finds

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There are only three female sports statues in the UK, an investigation by Sky Sports News finds

There are only three female sports statues in the UK, an investigation by Sky Sports News finds

There are 240 statues of athletes in the UK, but only 3 are female athletes.

The achievements of former England footballer Lily Parr, two-time Wimbledon champion Dorothy Round and Olympic pentathlon champion Lady Mary Peters were recognised. But countless others who have dominated their fields – such as Mrs Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mrs Laura Kenny and Mrs Paula Radcliffe – have not. why is that?

One sky sports news The survey found that the lack of female statues can be attributed to discrimination within specific movements, with some male movements having a head start over women’s movements and incurring the cost of funding statue carvings.

Dr Christopher Stride, statue expert from The Sporting Statues Projects, said: “It’s the pervasive discrimination against women in sport over the years, and the types of sports they are most discriminated against, and the types of sports you’re more likely to play. Get statue.”

sky sports news Meet the UK’s only surviving female athlete with a statue.

British gold medallist Lady Mary Peters talks about her feelings about her victory at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The pentathlon champion said of her summer victories 50 years ago: “I set four personal bests in the pentathlon. I don’t know why I just acted a little crazy.”

Mary Peters competes in women's pentathlon

Mary Peters competes in women’s pentathlon

In 2013, Ms Mary was given a statue in her hometown of Belfast. Sir Sebastian Coe was present and helped unveil the sculpture.

Statue of Lady Mary Peters in her orbit

Statue of Lady Mary Peters in her orbit

Overlooking the start of the 100-meter track at Mary Peters Circuit, there are podiums on either side of the statue.

Although an expert in the field of athletics, Ms. Mary recognizes the wealth of talent displayed in women’s sports.

“Women’s sport is getting more attention and acclaim now…it used to be eight pages and four lines of newspapers about women’s sport,” she said.

Lady Mary Peters is the only living woman with a sports statue

Lady Mary Peters is the only living woman with a sports statue

“Don’t forget that women are also good at sports; let’s honor success and inspire the next generation to play sports.”

Of the three female athletic statues, Peters is the only female athlete to be knighted. “The only other known female statue in Belfast is Queen Victoria,” she said.

The return of the Dorothy Round statue was unveiled in 2013 in honor of British tennis player Dorothy Round.

Dorothy Rounde against fellow British tennis player Betty Nassell at Wimbledon in 1936

Dorothy Rounde against fellow British tennis player Betty Nassell at Wimbledon in 1936

After working with Fred Perry, Round won Wimbledon singles in 1934 and 1937, and mixed doubles in 1934 and 1935/36.

The black country native was the first overseas woman to win the Australian Open in 1935 and was dubbed “Dudley’s daughter” by Mayor Anne Millward.

Statue of Dorothy Round in Dudley

Statue of Dorothy Round in Dudley

The iconic statue is located in her hometown of Dudley Abbey Park.

Talking about the reasons for the disparity in the number of sports statues between men and women in the UK, Dr Stride said: “The sport with the most statues is team sports, football in particular. In these team sports women are discriminated against the most.

Thierry Henry statue outside Emirates Stadium

Statue of Thierry Henry outside Emirates Stadium

“Compared to individual sports such as tennis or track and field, where women are discriminated against, their participation in team sports has not decreased.

“Look at sports like tennis, half of the statues around the world are women. This reflects the fact that in sports where women compete with men in their own games, they are celebrated.

View image of A statue depicting a female hockey player is across from the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame (Credit - Nathan Denette)

View image of A statue depicting a female hockey player is across from the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame (Credit – Nathan Denette)

“So if women have the opportunity to play professional sports, they are just as likely to get statues as men, it’s their discrimination against sports, they’re more likely to get statues.”

The cost of carving statues is also a contributing factor. The speed at which money is raised often depends on the popularity of the athlete and the generosity of the donors.

Lady Mary said she ‘was taking a long time to collect the money [the statue] was built”.

Steve Field, the designer of the circular statue, told sky sports news“The budget for this came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which was around £30,000 in 2013 to make this bronze statue, which is not enough today as the cost of metal has been going up since then.”

Dudley Mayor Councilor Millward focused on governing bodies.

“Look at your borough, what’s produced in your area, and be proud of these people and what they’re doing in your community, and get funding to celebrate them,” she said.

Lily Parr, regarded by some as a pioneer in women’s football, has been given a statue at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Statue of Lily Parr

Statue of Lily Parr

Parr, who has about 1,000 career goals and played a major role in Preston’s famous Dick Cole team, is considered a trailblazer.

Parr has played on both the men’s and women’s teams and has a reputation for being harder shots than many male players.

Par continued to play football in the 1920s after the Football Association banned women from playing on the field, and she toured North America with Ms. Dick Cole.

Former Arsenal striker Kelly Smith has echoed the importance of the statue to increase curiosity and historical knowledge for the next generation.

“It’s about visibility,” Smith said. “Young girls who see these statues and appreciate what these women have done for their sport, they can clearly see the statues and walk away to study this female athlete.”

Caroline Knox, chair of the Women’s and Equality Commission, said: “The men’s movement is much more important, and while it’s not a direct discrimination, the reality is that the women’s movement isn’t getting the attention it deserves, it’s a very indirect kind of discriminate.

“You have to fight for equality. Just as I would like to see a 50/50 parliament, I would like to see 50 per cent of our statues recognising women’s sporting achievements.”





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