Physical Education Class 12 Notes Chapter 6 Women and Sports
Sports Participation of Women in India
The participation of women in sports in India is very small. Gender inequality is strongly evident in every field of life including sports. The problem is more socio-psychological than anything else. The Government of India instituted the National Sports Festival for Women with the objective to promote women’s sports. However, this programme could not bring any noticeable improvement in women’s participation in sports. Surveys have shown that women don’t participate in sports due to
- Time Constraints Women find less time for sports due to their domestic duties.
- Social Constraints The attitude of society towards participation of women in sports is negative.
- Lack of Sports Infrastructure Specialised coaching centers, training programmes, equipment that are suitable for women athletes are not present adequately.
- Absence of Skill There are very few female coaches available to develop the skills of women. Sociological constraints limit the success of male coaches with female athletes.
- Concerns for Personal Safety Women are more afraid to venture in a ‘male’ field (perceived) as they are concerned more about safety from harassment or exploitation.
Methods to Increase Women’s Participation in Sports
There are various ways in which women’s participation can be increased
Women should be encouraged and provided with the opportunity to undertake leadership positions within organisations. They should be provided with good technical instruction. They must be given positive, encouraging, and instructive feedback. They should have a strong voice in programmes and all concerned should maintain a flexible approach to participation to ensure their needs are heard and met.
Exercising in groups can make physical activity safer for women and girls. Community sports facilities should be provided with separate location for women.
Changing facilities must he provided that take, into account women’s and girl’s hygiene needs. Adequate provision for childcare should be made so that women without any hesitation can bring their children to the participation and training venues. We must ensure that all areas are easily accessible to girls and their parents.
Participation fee in sports should be reduced or abolished for women. Concessions for travelling and boarding should be provided to women.
Special Considerations Associated with Physiology
Special care should be taken by sportswomen because of the problems associated with their physiology. Problems faced by women during their life are
Menarche is a girl’s first menstrual period. It can happen as early as age 9 or up to age 15. During this time, girls feel tense and emotional. So special attention should be given to them at this time. As a sportsperson, a young woman has to take special care of herself at that time.
Due to participation of women in physical fitness and competitive endurance sports, the incidence of menstrual dysfunction has increased. Long distance . running and other sports may lead to alterations in androgen, estrogen and progesterone hormones, which in some women may directly or indirectly result in amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods) or infertility.
Female Athlete Triad
The ‘female athlete triad’ is a syndrome of three related conditions generally seen in teenage or adult female athletes who aren’t meeting their energy requirements, which ultimately leaves them undernourished. This also affects their performance severely.
The three components of the female athlete triad include
- Osteoporosis It is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. It occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bones or both.
- Amenorrhiea It is the absence of menstruation periods’that can-happen for many reasons. Main causes are
genetic abnormalities, excessive exercise and extreme physical or psychological stress.
- Eating Disorders It refers to either eating in excessive amounts or eating in very little amounts. This disorder is related to mental illness and affects a – person’s physical and. mental health. A female athlete can have one, two, or all three parts of the triad.
Psychological Aspects of Women Athletes
Psychological aspects of Women athletes are discussed below
- Stress All women athletes undergo various degrees of stress-due to increased competition and. male domination. But women are able-to handle stress in a better way as they are more open and have a large social circle.
- Aggression Women may experience aggression that may reduce then- performance in sports. But they are able to mange the aggression and also are less aggressive in nature.
- Sensitive Women are more sensitive to the reaction of the people towards them. Therefore positive reinforcements by parents, coach, friends can enhance their performance.
- Eager to Learn Women are more eager to learn the new skills and techniques. Therefore coaching is easier in case of women athletes.
- Coping Women are able to handle and manage their emotional and interpersonal problems in a more efficient way. This helps women athletes to make strategies for better performance.
Sociological Aspects of Sports Participation
The sociological aspects that prevent women athletes in sports participation are as follows
- Social Stigma The social outlook is that girls are feeble, weak as compared to men and therefore they should not participate in sports.
- Safety Issues Girls have to face certain safety issues such as late night training, going to and coming from sports venues, coaching centers etc. Due to this, they find it difficult to pursue sports.
- Lack of Proper Facilities Women have to face lack of specific facilities such as separate changing rooms, rest rooms etc. This leaves very few opportunities for women.
- Lack of Role Models In the absence of women’s greater participation in sports, there are no role models. Due to this, girls do not get encouragement from parents or coaches.
- Less Media Coverage Women sports tournaments do not get wide coverage as men’s sports. Electronic and print media do not give proper attention on women tournaments. Therefore women do not get encouragement to participate in sports.
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