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Identify interviewee, her demographic information (place of birth, approximate age, where they grew up, family size).

Christina Richards is a retired African-American athlete born in Havana, Florida, in 1972. She had a taste in sports, primarily athletics which she began in the 6th grade before pushing it further after joining Northside High School. They lived in a two-bedroom house before moving to a three-bedroom home after her dad joined the police department.

Christina grew up in the Tallahassee Metro area alongside her older brother and younger sister. Her mum used to work at a local restaurant in Havana, while her dad was one of the few Americans working as a cop at the Havana Police Department. Before becoming a sheriff, his father was a basketball coach at a community club in Havana. Being of the black race and the female sex, participating in sports was challenging. This was because of the 19th and 20th-century sports rules, which prohibited women from sports before the laws were amended. Discrimination because of her black race also held her from assessing different areas in sports, making it hard for her to live the life of an athlete.

She was a 4 * 100 meters relay athlete who participated and competed in different places, including the 1991 event held at Havana. Christina, who is now approximately 49, stopped participating in athletics after turning because health issues. She started having a kneel problem after winning her very first silver medal at the United States Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in California in 1995.

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Retrieved from: Mataruna-Dos-Santos, L., Sayeed Khan, M., & Ahmed Haamed Mahmoud Sayed Ahmed Abdelwa Al Shibini, M. (2018). Contemporary scenario of Muslin women and sport in the United Arab Emirates: Pathways to the vision 2021. Olimpianos – Journal Of Olympic Studies2(2), 449-474. https://doi.org/10.30937/2526-6314.v2n2.id56

According to Mataruna-Dos-Santos et al. (2018), Male athletes dominate the sports world, and they rarely compete against female counterparts. Women’s participation in sports has become a major focus of development in the sporting world. When it comes to both professional and recreational sports, the UAE government goes out of its way to encourage the participation of women. Women in many Emirati homes are being encouraged to seek a career in athletics. While competing in major competitions like the Olympic Games, women athletes are defying prejudices.

Retrieved from: Ünsal, E., Kaptanoglu, S., & Kabasakal, H. (2021). The Turkish Super League meets its first female club president. Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies11(2), 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/eemcs-10-2020-0375

According to Ünsal et al. (2021), women are gaining recognition since the 20th century especially in the sport industry. The recognition of women in sport has been sported ion Turkey especially in football that remain a national sport. During the 2019-2020 season is when the first female became a football club president which was never usual. Football sport has been a male dominated sport but women are finding their way into the sport and performing very well making it significant to offer them support.

Retrieved from: Taylor, K., Linden, A., & Antunovic, D. (2019). “From Beach Nymph to Gridiron Amazon”: Media Coverage of Women in American Football, 1934–1979. Communication & Sport9(3), 458-475. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479519871961

The authors Taylor et al. (2019), stated that the American football has been a sport that is associated with boys and men for years and the women have been participating in the sport for a period of about 100 years. In the 20th century is the period where media coverage on women playing the American football started and this brought into light the aspect of women in sport. The media coverage resulted to more women feminist sports studies literature and the government focused in demonstrating women athleticism.

Retrieved from: Osborne, C., & Skillen, F. (2020). Women in sports history: the more things change, the more they stay the same?. Sport In History40(4), 411-433. https://doi.org/10.1080/17460263.2020.1835707

According to the research, there is a tremendous progress about the increasing number of women in sports and this is well demonstrated in the community. The article expresses about the reality in the UK where in the past 10 years, women in sport are in an upward growth and this is much promising about the recognition of the women in sport. The acceptance and support of women in sports is a good empowerment that makes them also showcase their talents and capabilities and promote equity in the society.

References

Mataruna-Dos-Santos, L., Sayeed Khan, M., & Ahmed Haamed Mahmoud Sayed Ahmed Abdelwa Al Shibini, M. (2018). Contemporary scenario of Muslin women and sport in the United Arab Emirates: Pathways to the vision 2021. Olimpianos – Journal Of Olympic Studies2(2), 449-474. https://doi.org/10.30937/2526-6314.v2n2.id56

Osborne, C., & Skillen, F. (2020). Women in sports history: the more things change, the more they stay the same?. Sport In History40(4), 411-433. https://doi.org/10.1080/17460263.2020.1835707

Taylor, K., Linden, A., & Antunovic, D. (2019). “From Beach Nymph to Gridiron Amazon”: Media Coverage of Women in American Football, 1934–1979. Communication & Sport9(3), 458-475. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479519871961

Ünsal, E., Kaptanoglu, S., & Kabasakal, H. (2021). The Turkish Super League meets its first female club president. Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies11(2), 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/eemcs-10-2020-0375

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ORAL HISTORY PAPER SUBMISSION 3: INTERVIEW SUMMARY

I interviewed Christina Richards, a retired African American athlete born in Havana, Florida. I interviewed her regarding the various challenges that women athletics face in this industry and what is being done regarding this issue.

Question: What can you say about the efforts of various governments in encouraging women’s participation in sports?

Christina: many governments are today doing their best to encourage the participation of women in sports. For instance, female Emiratis are making remarkable gains in sport. The number of Emirati women footballers has risen from 800 players in 2014 to 2,300 players by 2020, a significant growth. Empowerment, opportunity, and facilitation of achievement for women at the local, regional, and worldwide levels are all available in the UAE. As part of its policy to ensure women’s rights and foster their creativity, it contributes to the advancement of its society via this.

Question: what is the major obstacle that women athletes face?

Christina: There’s a common belief that males are better at sports than women because of this. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t always the case. Everyone has a unique set of talents. Because of their gender, several males cannot participate in college athletics, regardless of the sport. Competencies are what matter. Why can’t a woman play on a men’s team if she has the necessary skills? Why not let that girl play if she believes she is capable of doing so? As our society progresses, more and more women will participate in football games alongside men.

Question: Do female athletes receive equal media coverage as their male counterparts?

Christina: Media coverage of women’s sports continues to be far less than that of men’s sports. This includes Column inches, running time, personal quotations, size and length of articles, the positioning of images, and the size of the header. It’s not uncommon to see pictures of female athletes in sexually suggestive stances.

Question: why do you think there is this kind of bias in the media despite the growing participation of women in sports?

Christina: Women’s sports have made tremendous growth over several decades. According to recent statistics, women now make up 43% of collegiate athletes and 41.5% of high school athletes. That’s a 400% increase in profit. Media coverage of female athletes’ accomplishments still needs improvement, though. Complaints and criticisms of a female athlete’s looks are sometimes replaced with adjectives like “sexy” or “fit,” rather than “strong” or “fit.” Female athletes were shown in the media in a way that made it clear that something had to be done about it.

Questions: What should be done to ensure equality in sports?

Christina: As a result of the shifts taking place on the field and in society about how women are seen and the possibilities accessible to them, the commercial sector of sports has seen a significant shift in its culture. There has been a tremendous amount of progress in the business sphere, and women have been recognized for their competence, aptitude, and unique viewpoint. Because of a generational and cultural transition toward a more equitable society, I believe there has been a beneficial influence. However, we must build a winning culture. Using this method, sports can see what is going well and identify difficulties and challenges early on, allowing them to take appropriate action. It’s now or never to take advantage of the growing momentum.

Thank you very much for the candid discussion.