M.An avid fan and rugby commentator after the Black Ferns secured their spot in the Rugby World Cup finals. Alice Soper Posting a video of her tear-stained face on social media, Soper was smitten. Not only because the final nail-biting moment could have gone either way for the New Zealand women’s team, but because the Black Ferns win represented something bigger.
“I cried over the women’s rugby win because I knew we needed the Black Ferns in the final. [the tournament] It’s been a spectacle and we’ve had the opportunity to put on the biggest show in town,” says Soper.
“It’s not just a team issue, all of us here have been in the shadows for a long time … I can proudly say that in that moment. It was.”
1 million New Zealanders Last weekend, I tuned in to watch the Black Ferns’ semi-final victory over France, 25-24. That’s five times his number in the 2017 Blackferns-England final. By the next morning, Eden Park in Auckland, the country’s largest stadium, had sold out his 40,000 tickets for the final against England’s Red Roses.By Wednesday, it had – the match on track break the world record For maximum crowd participation in women’s rugby matches.
Based on these figures, women’s rugby new zealand It’s a well-supported and well-watched sport. But despite rugby being the national sport and the country’s women’s teams dominating the international arena (the Black Ferns have won five of the last six World Cups), women’s Efforts are under-recognised and lack funding and support.
New Zealand rugby transitioned to a full-time employment model for female professional players this year, but according to news staff, there is still Salary gap between women’s team and All Blacks is 73%On the other hand, despite the NZ$134,000 awarded to each All Blacks player for winning the 2015 Cup, the team would not receive a bonus if they won the World Cup. This is a bonus that goes beyond a portion of a woman’s salary.
The recent unprecedented public interest should serve as a wake-up call to “all the old people in the boardroom” of New Zealand rugby, Soper said.
“Men’s sports are funded based on possibility, women’s sports are funded based on results. Well that’s the result, sell out Eden Park.”
Black Ferns player and sevens team captain Sarah Gilini says building extraordinary momentum for her team and maintaining the public eye means ‘everything’ for a player.
“This is something we’ve wanted for a long time, and now I think people are joining the party, which is great,” she says.
“This is not just for us. It’s for the next generation of athletes, and it’s for other women’s sports that still want this.”
The team is attracting a new fanbase. Some have never been involved in a sport before, while others are thrilled that rugby is an ‘old-fashioned’ game.
For fast-growing fan Erin Harrington, the semi-final was her first experience watching a rugby match of her choice. Since his school days, the Otoutahi/Christchurch-based academic and arts critic felt that the culture surrounding men’s rugby, and men’s sport in general, was “really marginalized”.
“I know it doesn’t represent all athletes and fans, but my experience has been that the widespread belief that women’s sport in general is inherently inferior is often driven by alcohol. It’s one of fueled toxicity and sexism.”
Harrington said, “It was a complete revelation to see these incredible women of all shapes and sizes, in their own words, physical and powerful and with a sense of joy.” I’m here.
Toni Bruce, a professor of sociology of sport at the University of Auckland, is studying this growing fan base as part of a broader attempt to understand the relationship between nationalism and rugby in New Zealand.
For years, Bruce has conducted surveys on public attitudes towards the men’s Rugby World Cup, and this the first year she did her research About the women’s competition. So far, she’s had nearly 200 people respond to the survey, which already reveals a strong theme and a difference in women’s attitudes towards the game.
“Everyone talks about the Black Ferns playstyle and their spirit,” says Bruce. “People think their style is open and running he’s rugby, it’s attacking rugby, he plays for the ball not the umpire, it’s fun, it’s exciting.”
Overwhelmingly, women’s descriptions of gameplay are positive compared to how the public views men’s style, including “too many scrums, playing to the referee instead of the ball, lots of stops” It was a target.
“A lot of people who have been following men’s rugby for a long time are disillusioned with it. Women’s rugby is somehow bringing the fun of the game back to the forefront,” she says.
According to those surveyed, Bruce says the women’s teams also had a different mentality when it came to approaching the game.
“People talked about [the team’s] Passion, that they’re genuine, that they’re open and down-to-earth with the media – there’s no corporate talk, and they’re willing to be vulnerable.
There’s a special alchemy to the factors that spark the interest explosion, but Bruce believes some recent developments are driving it more than others — proper TV coverage and the women’s rugby sevens team. Participating in the Olympics (and winning a gold medal).Then this is Charismatic players such as Ruby Tui An opportunity to foster connections between fandom, teams and the public.
“A chance to reset”
Jennifer Curtin, a professor of politics and public policy at the University of Auckland who has studied women’s involvement in rugby, says women have long been supporters and players of rugby. According to Curtin, there are photographs of women playing in the 1890s, and as well as cheering from the sidelines, their support includes fundraising, advocacy, and emotional support at home and for the players. , involved countless hours of unseen labor.
“My hope for this World Cup is that we don’t forget – collectively – or New Zealand rugby – amnesia about this moment, or this level of play and passion for the women’s game.
Curtin hopes this Rugby World Cup will help the team secure the respect and investment they deserve. ‘, he added.
“Women’s rugby doesn’t have all the baggage that comes with men’s rugby. Its culture comes with a toxic masculinity. But it’s not the space of the women’s game.”
She says it’s important to increase that visibility and break down stereotypes in physical sports. “I have nothing in common with Richie McCaw. [the former All Blacks captain]so I never feel emotionally connected to him.
“I don’t like rugby, but I like women’s rugby and I like the way they play. It’s good, it’s honest, it reminds me of old rugby.”
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/nov/11/fast-brutal-and-a-sense-of-joy-how-womens-rugby-is-winning-over-new-zealand Fast, brutal and a sense of joy: how women’s rugby beat New Zealand | Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021