Games of gender

16th February 1996 at 00:00
WOMEN AND SPORT. A syllabus for teachers and lecturers of examination courses in sport, physical education, recreation and leisure.

Women's Sports Foundation, Wesley House, 4 Wild Court, London WC2B 4AW Pounds 25 inc postage.

Anyone watching weekend television could be forgiven for thinking sport is for men. Women's sport continues to attract little media attention, and it is hardly surprising that a recent survey in Leeds found that 97 per cent of teachers and pupils nominated a male when asked to identify their favourite sports personality.

Positive images of women and girls playing sport are rare, so a new publication from the Women's Sports Foundation is a welcome attempt to in-crease awareness and appreciation of wo-men's sport as well as to help teachers deliver course work on women in sport issues.

The Women and Sport pack includes a 20-minute video and an A4 fact file containing teaching material, overheads, student activities and references for further reading. The video introduces the historical and social development of women's sport and its position today. Significant issues are presented for discussion by former international heptathlete, Judy Simpson, and good use is made of black and white archive material and recent television coverage of women taking part in sport at all levels and in all roles.

The fact file offers guidance on how to use the pack and the video. Introductory comments and questions are structured to find out how much pupils already know. These lead into factual sections focusing on an overview of the development of women's sport; the anatomy and physiology of sporting women and fitness matters; social and cultural influences; the network of providers; media coverage and sponsorship. The file concludes with further reading and a list of contacts.

Used well, the activities provide interesting and challenging contexts for learning, not only for exam groups but for personal and social education tutorial work.

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