Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

Sporting Equality - What Matters to Me

Sporting Equality - What Matters to Me

Emma Pallister

Year 7, Roseville College

I stood there full of nerves, it felt as if I had a million little butterflies fluttering around my insides with no way out. I held the rough bat handle in my hand and as the ball flew right at the bat I swung. The connection felt like a boulder had just hit the bat because the ball had come at me so fast. As I sprinted to first base, not stopping for anything, I watched the ball as it soared through the air and right past the opposition. I knew this was it - the home run that I always wanted - so I kept running. Flying right past second and third I ran as fast as I could. As I neared home plate, the ball flew right behind me and the catcher missed it. I knew it was a close call, but I made it to home. It was my first home run in softball.

Many girls and women I know love to play sport but things like abuse and people putting them down can result in some terrible consequences.

In the media recently Tayla Harris, Carlton Blues AFLW player, says she has been “sexually abused” by trolls in the “repulsive” comments of an amazingly athletic photo of her kicking a magnificent goal(1) . 7AFL decided to remove the whole post and photo from social media,

rather than just turn off the comments so that the “trolls” couldn't

make lewd and out of line comments about her. Many people who support her and women sports in general are frankly disgusted, not only by how the trolls have behaved, but how channel 7 acted as well.

Many women have amazing athletic abilities and now finally in the 21st century there are so many more chances for women to showcase them professionally. Young girls look up to them for having such strength and talent and want to be just like them. I am one of those girls. It is disgusting when people like this come and tear these women down even though they do nothing wrong and are frankly featuring their talents and they are darn good at it.

I have played many sports such as softball, netball, tennis, soccer and more. When I was younger, it was always a dream of mine to play for the NSW Swifts netball team when I grew up. I looked up to them for a very long time and I still do. As I have grown older, I still love netball and still love the Swifts; the thing that has put me off has been the negativity, abuse and flat-out rudeness from other people. They are putting these women down and I wouldn't want to be in that position. I am sure that these women love to play the sport, but they don't want to be sexually abused!

Women and men may be different in some ways but when you think about it, women deserve just as much respect as men. Many of them train as hard as men and some even harder. These women that people are hurting are trying to ignore it, but everyone has their breaking point. Trolls can cause very large consequences to anyone, such as suicidal thoughts and depression.

We are all human.

Respect women in a sporting environment.

 1. Lewis, A. (2019 March 21). Tayla Harris: How 'repulsive' social media comments sparked outrage in Australia. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/20/sport/tayla-harris-photo-aflw-trolls-australia-spt-int/index.html