It’s very rare that women working in various sectors of the sports industry are brought together. Even rarer to play golf – a sport that still skews heavily male. Even rarer than that is my own experience on a golf course, which is nonexistent shall we say… the invite to the Women’s Golf Networking Day quickly became one I could not refuse.
I’ve been fortunate to attend a couple of big sports networking events in the first few years of my career as a journalist. As pleasant as they have been, this one felt different.
The inaugural Women’s Golf Networking Day challenged the idea that ‘networking’ does indeed have to involve hard ‘work’. This felt natural, easy, conversations between like-minded women with missions that run in parallel; to change the sports industry for the better.
The day had barely begun when that thought struck me, munching on a hearty breakfast overlooking the Hertsmere Golf Course, chatting away to women I had never met before – industry professionals and golf professionals – the latter of whom I made sure knew that I’d never held a club before.
But part of the success of the day hinged around just that, the fact that there was a group of us in a similar boat, taking our first steps into the sport. The conversation flowed over bungled putts, scuffed turf, and erratic balls, from the driving range to the fairway.
As a journalist, I’m always looking to expand my contacts. But sometimes you don’t even know what industries exist to make those contacts in, until you come to events like this. I got to talk to women in sports law, advertising, commercial, clothing brands, all of whom added a different perspective from their different positions in the women’s sport world.
Women’s Sport is building momentum. 2022 was big, 2023 will be bigger. I’m buzzing for what’s ahead, and in my position as a Women’s Sport journalist for The News Movement, I am living and breathing it, day in, day out.
The News Movement is a social media company specialising in Gen Z audiences, providing a range of content across TikTok, Instagram, and other social platforms. Amongst other topics, we’re committed to Women’s Sport as part of our DNA. All our content on this subject revolves around the word ‘equity’. Whether that be unequal pay, facility access, healthcare, body image, it’s the conversations which are common to many sports and female athletes. We’re about raising those conversations, and giving athletes a voice to do that.
Journalism is sometimes just as simple as listening. During the day I sat around many tables (and walked many steps on a golf course!) just absorbing the conversations that all these amazing women were raising, the common themes, the concerns, the different perspectives. From head injuries to female sponsorships, we covered a lot of ground, both metaphorically and physically!
I sometimes think journalists can become quite blinkered in their approach, a routine of talking to the same voices and sources. And that’s a problem. Because the stories that are then published are not reflecting the full picture of what’s out there. The narrative is singular.
Events like these are an important opportunity for everyone to stand back, to look at the many talented women working across the sports industry, and see who can help them and how. And importantly, to go away and foster those relationships even further.