Recognising Women’s Sport

Prue Hyman

Where are the Women’s Rugby Sevens?

Portia Woodman heading for the line in the semi-final against the USA

By Prue Hyman (1st of two columns)

I can’t resist starting this column with a quick follow up to my December one which had both praise and some criticism to the place given to women’s sport in New Zealand (and overseas).

Good on Portia Woodman, huge rugby star, for her comments last week on the lack of women’s 7’s in New Zealand when we have a great women’s team.

Hamilton has successfully replaced Wellington for the men’s tournament in early February, but there was no women’s tournament.

In Sydney, where Woodman starred in the tournament with the top number of tries and NZ were runners up, she gave an interview which included: “If we keep showing we are as good as we say we are, and we keep performing as well as we do, they can’t not let us play at home.

New Zealand Rugby have said it’s a lack of] money at the moment, but they can seem to find money for certain things.

‘We’ll just keep fighting and doing our thing.”

Support from Jamie Wall

Jamie Wall at http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/349071/portia-woodman-s-got-a-point supported her, pointing out that:

“By never even considering having the Black Ferns Sevens involved in Hamilton, the rest of the accolades and promises do feel a little bit like hollow talk …@

The debate against funding women’s sport, is that people don’t want to watch it.

That doesn’t hold much water; all you need to do is have a look at the full house at Rod Laver Arena for the pulsating Australian Open women’s final.”  

I stayed up until 1 am to watch two wonderful players, Caroline Wozniacki (right)and Simone Halep (left) play a spellbinding game in that final. (See KIN’s review by scrolling down to  January 28)

It would be great for rugby to make sure that next year we can watch women’s sevens rugby in New Zealand.

And there are now some signs that this may happen.

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Note: part 2 of Prue’s February column will appear soon.