Monday, 26 July 2010

W-w-wonderful women

Yesterday's Kinetic Adventure was testament to the rising interest (and participation) of women in outdoor pursuits. There were around 80 teams and pairs in total, across all categories (including school). My Triumph AR all-girls team was one of TEN teams (of three in each team); in addition to a handful of all-girls pairs. And then you add in the women participating in the mixed teams and pairs...

This is a trend that is evident in all kinds of sports - from 5km fun runs, the 5-12km trail series runs, to diving and mountain biking. Women are getting out and about.

Racing with Lauren in our Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge team in Dec 2008 was my first time racing with another woman, outside of rogaining; and it was such fun. In 2009 our all-girls Triumph AR team was started, which has continued into this year. Lizelle Smit raced with us yesterday and commented how fun it was to race with other girls - her first time. And this year I'll have two girls (and one guy) accompanying me to Abu Dhabi.

I've had a mission for some time in adventure racing; to encourage women to take part and not to be scared of distance events. And, more than this, I wish women would realise that they don't have to be just the 'mandatory' 25% component of a team. There is no reason why more women shouldn't be building their own mixed-gender teams (instead of waiting to be invited by the guys) and navigating for their teams.

The first step is accomplished - increased participation of women. More now need to step up to longer distances and then to begin building their own teams.

1 comment:

Lobby said...

Nice L, my initial hurdle in putting together an all-ladies team was the lack of a navigator, until I decided to take on the task myself- it's very empowering to not have to rely on someone else (usually guys) to navigate and gives you the freedom to put together any team, all-ladies or not!