Women’s sport gets another raw deal

WHILE the English take turns flagellating and excusing themselves for failing to select a single woman in their top ten sporting “personalities” of the year, at least we have gone one better. Just the one though.

Katie Taylor deservedly made the cut for tomorrow night’s RTÉ shindig, but she is in exclusively male company. Fionnuala Britton’s courageous front-running in Slovenia came too late for consideration, while there’s no place for Deirdre Ryan despite her jumping into the world’s top six. Kate Veale’s standing as the world’s best young walker cut no ice either, while our only success this year at a Six Nations competition wasn’t enough to propel our ladies’ table-tennis squad into the Sports Team of the Year shortlist alongside the customary nods to the camogie and ladies football champions.

A poor enough return then for what was, on the face of it, a fine year for women’s sport, capped last month by the launch of the National Women’s League in soccer. Next year should be even better, with Gráinne Murphy, Derval O’Rourke, Annalise Murphy and company in London.

Will they ever get due attention away from Olympic spotlight? Well, the doors Taylor has pushed open for women’s boxing with her excellence and charm shows how much progress can be made in a short time.

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