The Ladies Gaelic Football Association and Lidl, a European grocery-store chain that has become the league’s official title sponsor, put out a fake product #Ladyball to highlight the ridiculous attitudes towards women in sport. "Soft touch, Eazi-play, Fashion driven."
When the Twitter outrage reached a fevered pitch, people were informed of the hoax. On their website, LGFA president said, "Through the “Ladyball” initiative Lidl has demonstrated their innovative and dedicated approach to supporting our sport. We hope to see everyone who spoke so passionately in women’s defence in this debate, channel that same energy into pitchside support during the coming season." Will they be able to turn hashtags into attendance? I hope so. There's a great article about this from the Washington Post with image captures of tweets, print ads, and video. Take a look!
From NPR came this great piece about the National Women's Hockey League who are in the midst of their first season. Some of the highlights include discussion about low pay, and flexibility in scheduling so that the women can all have other jobs. Says Dani Rylan, Founder and Commissioner, "You don't want to compare a league in its infancy to a league that is about to have its centennial." Sigh. The lack of pay equity doesn't seem to be keeping the players from amazing hockey though...
Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills football team promoted Kathryn Smith to the position of quality control-special teams. She will be the NFL's first full-time female assistant coach. Smith acknowledged that her job as quality control-special teams coach is an "amazing opportunity" on a personal level. Originally, the Bills didn't even make a big announcement thinking it was just a run-of-the-mill promotion. Smith has years of experience both with the Bills and the Jets, but that didn't stop talk radio and Twitter degrading and demeaning her accomplishments. Maybe start listening to Spain, Jane, and Kate on ESPN's radio show The Trifecta. Here's the most recent show that includes a piece about Kathryn Smith's hiring.
Finally, the African Women In Sports Forum opened in Algiers earlier this month. According to the website AllAfrica.com, "On the forum's first day, the participants will focus on the global effort for women's development, sports and Olympic movement, sustainable financing for the development of women and sport in the 21st century as well as the sustainable supervision of African women (role of sports federations)."
Don't forget Girls & Women in Sports Day coming up on February 3rd! Check here for events near you. In my town of Brunswick, ME I found this event:
"Bowdoin College will host its annual Girls & Women in Sports Day Event on Sunday, February 7 at Farley Field House.
The free-of-charge event is designed to introduce young women to a wide range of sports. Participants will rotate through sport stations at timed intervals. Sports scheduled for this year are: Basketball, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.
The program will run in two age groups: K-3rd grade (11am-1pm) and 4th-HS (1:30pm-3:45pm). After each clinic, the participants are invited to have pizza and snacks with Bowdoin student-athletes."
Have a great February!