With International Women’s Month in full swing, the theme of #EmbraceEquity couldn’t be more pertinent when it comes to South Africa’s sports industry. Despite producing world-class female athletes like Caster Semenya, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, and Natalie du Toit, research by SASCOC shows that they are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. The study also reveals that 99% of all sponsorship and funding money is directed toward men’s sports, highlighting a clear gender pay and funding gap that undermines the principle of equal opportunities.
This is according to female Sports Activist and Endurance Sports Athlete, Ingrid Avidon, who highlights that the underfunding of women’s sports has a number of negative consequences, both for individual athletes and for the broader female sporting landscape in South Africa.
“Perhaps the most obvious one is that without proper funding, women’s sports teams may not have access to necessary resources like training facilities, equipment, kits, and coaching, which can hinder their ability to compete at a high level. This lack of support can also lead to decreased participation rates among women, limiting the talent pool and making it harder to field competitive teams,” she adds. “Unfortunately, women from disadvantaged backgrounds take the biggest knock when it comes to the lack of funding, as they already come from communities where the basic spotting facilities and necessities are limited.”
It’s for this reason that a year ago, Avidon went on a personal quest using her love of sports to launch a campaign called Be-ING, where she raised funds to introduce more female athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds to the world of sports and assist them with sporting necessities. “The goal is to bridge the funding gap and promote inclusivity, enabling women from diverse backgrounds to engage in sports,” she explains.
Partnerships for Women Empowerment
To celebrate Women’s Month and head to the global calls to #EmbraceEquity, global sportsbook and gaming operator – 10bet is collaborating with Avidon on her mission by supporting two female development cyclists, Yomela Charlie (23) and Omphile Motaung (25).
Avidon, Charlie and Motaung will take part in the Race to Willowmore (RTW) on the 27 March in Cradock. This gruelling cycling challenge spans over five days, covering a distance of 530km. The race is especially unique as it is not marked, so riders need to use maps, a compass, and narrative directions as a means of navigation without the aid of GPS.
“Women are often key agents of change in their communities, with the potential to create a ripple effect that benefits society at large. For example, when you support women in sports, you create opportunities for female athletes to serve as role models in their communities. This can inspire a new generation to pursue their dreams and show them that women can be successful in anything they put their minds to,” says Zanele Nhlapo, CSR & PR Manager at 10bet Africa.
With this in mind, she notes that it is now more important than ever for businesses to be responsible corporate citizens by creating sustainable partnerships and initiatives that bring positive change to the communities we serve.
“Adequate funding for women’s sports is crucial for the growth and sustainability of the sporting industry. Everyone in the industry can benefit by supporting women’s sports through partnerships and collaboration. From increased visibility and exposure to financial viability and success, a commitment to investing in women’s sports can help build a more equitable and prosperous sports landscape for all,” Nhlapo concludes.
Notes to editors: Issued for and on behalf of 10bet South Africa by At Hook, Line and Sinker. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
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