- Sports and Recreation
Why isn't Netball an Olympic Sport?
The Olympics are, without doubt, the pinnacle to every sportsmen and sports women's careers. They work all their teenage lives, to be able to have at least one golden chance of representing their country, at the Olympics. One chance for most, maybe a few if you are lucky.
One sport which can find itself very unlucky, not to be included, is Netball. The sport of Netball has one major problem, which could be a big factor in its omission as It is a single sex sport and predominantly aimed at women. Mixed Netball is allowed at schools up to the age of 11, a;though not common, thereafter it must only be played by members of the same sex. There are some Mens teams but, as yet the surge in men playing Netball isn't happening. Most men would prefer to play Basketball or Korfball. Korfball seems to have already stolen a march on Netball by insisting it is played by mixed teams. Although in reverse, it can be played by single sex teams.
In England alone, there are 75,000 members of the English Netball Association. Every week, up to 1 million women and girls play the sport across the country. The popularity of Netball in England has risen by 5% in the last 12 months alone. That is just in England. If you take in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you would be nearer 1.5 million playing the game every week. Yet still it cannot get into the Olympics. Its popularity in the U.K. can be attributed to the Netball Superleague and its coverage on Sky TV.
As a 'minority' sport it cannot be included but, it is welcome at The Commonwealth Games. Within the Commonwealth it is a big sport and has been included in the sports program, since 1998. Previous winners are Australia, twice and New Zealand. Both England and Jamaica have also been placed in the first 3. Sri Lanka are the current Asian champions.
It is staggering that it is still overlooked and a movement to get it included in The Olympic schedule for London 2012, seems to have failed. Although womens Boxing has succeeded. Since 1904, womens Boxing has not been welcomed to the Olympic bosom but, 2012 is different with 3 belts up for contention.
Maybe the World Netball Associations should speak with the Boxing Authorities to see how they succeed, where Netball fail. It is time to put serious efforts into putting Netball onto the World Olympic stage.