As you well know, the purpose of the Benched is to examine sports and media coverage, gender equality, and physical self-concept. In an attempt to contribute to this purpose in a more widespread manner, I have recently updated the Women’s Sports Wikipedia page regarding the 19th and 20th century in the United States and in the United Kingdom. I decided to add to women’s sports in particular because I have a personal tie to the subject; growing up, I have always participated in sports and was inspired by female and male athletes. Unfortunately, it was difficult to follow female athletes because they were not as widely broadcast on television or online. Thus, I wanted to add information to this page to bring more attention to the world of women’s sports.
In Women’s Sports, I choose to add to the United States subsection because I felt that there was not enough information about Title IX’s effectiveness in regards to its positive impact on female sports in high school and university settings. Since 1972, the year Title IX was conceived, women’s participation in sports has dramatically increased and obesity rates have declined.
Additionally, I created the United Kingdom subsection in the Women’s Sports page because I felt that it was important to discuss sports outside of North America. I was particularly intrigued by the UK because while researching Women’s Sports, I found an organization called Women in Sport.
Women In Sport hopes that by creating equal opportunities for women and girls and by increasing visibility for women’s sport, in the media, and in everyday life, we will inspire people to play their part at every level. In order to kickstart this transition, the organization breaks down their efforts into three sectors: Insight, Campaigning, and Partnerships. Insight describes the company’s 30 years of in-house and commissioned research that is dedicated to practical application. Campaigning revolved around the nation taken to get more women and girls involved in sport, and Partnerships relates to collaboration with sport funders, businesses, and the government to create opportunities for women in all aspects of sport.
Overall, I found it difficult to add to the page because I was unsure if the information I wanted to include would be seen as “relevant” and “useful” to other users. I decided that the information I would add would be information that amplified current information or added a new lens to the page; expanding on the U.S. and adding information about the U.K. was my solution. Adding myself to the vast Wikipedia community and adding to its seemingly endless pool of information was an eye-opening experience. It reminded me that we all have something to contribute to each other’s knowledge.