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National Windsurfing Championships 2018
Iona receiving her trophy from Guy Cribb having come first in her fleet (4.5m)

Women in windsurfing

Date Date: 09/11/10
Rating OMWC Rating: 1 star rating
Why is taking part vital for women and girls?

Recent research by Sport England found worryingly that women's regular participation in sport is decreasing, while men's is going up slightly. In an extremely disappointing result, 80% of women do not take part in enough phyical activity to benefit their health. This culture of inactivity starts at school and by age 16 girls are only half as likely to be active as boys.

Most of the major benefits of phyical activity seem attractive: reductions in obesity, reductions in the risk of cancer, aiding mental well being and improving heart health, is but to name a few.
Public Health Today (p6-7) points out that there are particular benefits to women because the consequences of inactivity can be distinct: 1) Activity in pregnancy improves the pregnancy experience and if carried out after the birth reduces the risk of post-natal depression 2) sport reduces the risk of mental health and body confidence issues, which women can be more likely to suffer 3) Much more importantly for the next generation, mothers often set the tone for the level of phyical activity their families take part in. If women enjoy exercise and are regularly active, their children are likely to be as well and reduce their risk of obesity.

However they also point out that for too long, sport has been provided in a 'one size fits all', failing to consider women's particular needs. They suggest that by failing to consider women's needs, it is no surprise that women's participation is falling as men's rises.

Luckily, although there can always be more attention on the different needs of different sizes of windsurfing people, windsurfing gear has generally benefitted from the Harvard principle - i.e. if there are 10 different users with preferences for different pens, then make 10 different pens to suit them. And Bic probably knew that principle, and it seems that Starboard have taken on that mantle...And, if you saw the Mistral photo review a few years ago, then the topless women windsurfing models of the late 70's and early 80s, who glamorised the sport as sexy and appealing in the way most men can appreciate, did the sport a world of good.

Not sure we want to return to that....but definitely encourage your ladies to have a go and to keep having a go - it's good for them and the kids, and the future!

Last updated: 09/11/10 07:10 By: Genevieve
Views: 1913