Clare Balding: ‘Playing sport has power to cut teenage pregnancy, obesity and female youth offending’

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I thought Clare Balding was fantastic during the London Olympics – her knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm was infectious.

In this interview in The Telegraph Clare says female sport should be given the TV coverage it deserves, as it has the power to reduce obesity, teen pregnancy and female youth offending.

Emma Barnett talked to Britain’s newest national treasure on sexism in sport, feminism and whether a male Page 3 model would ever be a reality.

I agree with Clare about the power of women’s sport when she says:

“Sexism is one of those things which happens all the time. I see it particularly in sport. However, I think women playing sport has the capacity to change attitudes to women on a national scale.”

“I know women playing sport leads to a different type of emancipation. Yes, it gives them physical strength, but it also gives them confidence – not to mention brilliant time management skills.

“Unless women’s sport gets covered properly in the media and the participants are allowed and opinion and a public profile, it cannot have the effect on women in schools it needs to have. Give women’s sport a proper opportunity, a proper window and then let’s look at the figures in 10 years time of teenage pregnancy, female obesity, female youth offender, women in work – and see whether they have improved. And I think it can happen,” she compellingly argues.

Balding says the ‘women’s mags’ have got it now, but is waiting to see if they continue their love affair with the likes of Jessica Ennis next year – in a non-Olympic year. “That’s the real test,” she says.

What do you think?

Clare Balding: ‘Playing sport has power to cut teenage pregnancy, obesity and female youth offending’

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