I would like to start my story about ten years ago, when I was a girl and would spend my weekend afternoons in front of the television, fully engulfed in the rollercoaster of emotions that come with watching a game of soccer you really care about. My father uncle and I all sat there together, piping in our own two cents and opinions between those of the commentators. In this setting we all had an equal voice.
My frustrations kicked in when I was around my peers. In situations where we all sat together and conversations about whichever ‘big game’ was on that weekend came up and even though I was often given the opportunity to speak, my opinions were often not taken seriously, or brushed off with a kind of, ‘oh, she thinks she knows soccer, cute,’ kind of way.
Although I did eventually manage to get the respect I deserved in this group, when I stepped out of the comforts of home in Zimbabwe and found myself alone in Cape Town, I soon discovered that I had barely begun the battle to be heard. Whether you are a man or a woman, for people to take the time to notice and think about what you have to say you need to do it well. I feel, you need to make sure you hear and see what the world is telling you so that your voice is not only yours, but carries with it the voices of others.
Sport reporting goes beyond match reports and player ratings. It extends to the social and political implications that anything sports related has on a community, from who is included to who is benefitting or is hurt by the political and economic effects of staging any kind of sports competition. I applied to Voices of the Future because I feel it will give me the opportunity to stay true to my passion for sport in a space where I feel that so long as I am producing work of a certain standard it will be respected regardless of my gender, whilst also prompting me to further investigate what role it has played, if any, in other women’s lives.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.