Which sports nonetheless use ‘walk-on girls’?

By posted on March 23, 2019 2:29AM

“At odds with modern-day society” changed into Formula 1’s reasoning for removing grid girls for the imminent season.

The decision marked the stop of the many years-antique practices of using frequently scantily-clad ladies for promotional responsibilities – like preserving umbrellas and motive force name boards before each race.

It followed intently behind the Professional Darts Corporation which stated closing week that stroll-on ladies have been to be no extra.

Grid girl Charlotte Gash advised BBC Radio 5 stay she changed into dissatisfied and “alternatively disgusted” that F1 had “given in to the minority to be politically correct”.

And Charlotte Wood, a walk-on female at darts fits stated her “rights are being taken away” and that running at such events accounted for 60% of her income.

But for a few the pass is just the top of the iceberg.

The Women’s Sports Trust is encouraging other sports activities to comply with the fit and prevent positioning girls “as an embellishment”.


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So which different major sports activities are the highlight?

If you’ve got ever watched a professional boxing fit, you will possibly have visible a lady – normally carrying a revealing outfit – walking around the ring among rounds.

The activity of a “ring woman” is to allow the crowd recognize which spherical is developing by using conserving up numbered playing cards.

They have been taken into consideration part of the glamour of fight merchandising since the Nineteen Sixties.

Leading promoter Eddie Hearn, whose fighters include WBA heavyweight global champion Anthony Joshua, has no goal of following the trend by means of eliminating ring-card ladies from his indicates.

He informed GQ magazine: “From a boxing point of view, we need to preserve the traditions of the sport going and for my part, it has not anything to do with sexism or feminism.”

He brought that in darts “stroll-on ladies aren’t without a doubt doing something”, while the boxing ring card ladies “serve a reason”.

But British expert boxer Stacey Copeland says the exercise is “beside the point” in a sporting arena. She makes use of youngsters as mascots at her fights in place of ring ladies.

The Stockport-born fighter told BBC five stay: “Just as it’s constantly been that manner in darts, Formula 1 and boxing, it would not necessarily make it right.”

“I’m no longer a snob, I’m no longer prudish, I do not appearance down on all of us that does the one’s roles… However, as a sportswoman trying to benefit respect and push things ahead for women in sport – (ring girls) are a difficulty.”

This is because, Ms. Copeland adds, “their function is only to do with how they appearance – I do not suppose that is the maximum nice representation of women in sport”.

“In football, we’re very used to seeing child mascots. I suppose if we were to replace all of these youngsters with women just standing there in attire for no apparent motive, it’d seem extraordinary.”

Another recreation that historically uses girls in promotional roles is cycling – in which they’re called podium hostesses.

The debate over their future surfaced after Slovak bike owner Peter Sagan turned into pictured pinching the lowest of a podium lady after a race in 2013.

The game turned into then closely criticised two years later when bikini-clad girls flanked cyclists at the podium at the Flanders Diamond Tour in Belgium, forcing organizers to apologize.

Journalist and former cyclist Marijn de Vries told the BBC she would really like to peer a quit to podium girls in the game.

Her desire might be for podium children to play an element within the presentations: “How cool is it to provide vegetation on your large hero?”

However, she delivered that, in some instances, the ladies on the podium had been now not just there to provide plant life, however, had a critical position as hostess of the occasion.

She said: “At the quiet of the day you want those who organize the facet programme, and in the event that they hand the vegetation at the top of the race, I don’t thoughts.”

Some competitions have taken a stand towards it, with the Tour Down Under finding out to scrap using podium girls ultimate yr, the usage of junior cyclists in their region.

The Tour de Yorkshire additionally chose an opportunity, alternatively celebrating successful local businesswomen, while the Vuelta an Espana became the first Grand Tour to lose podium girls, replacing them with “elegantly dressed” males and females in 2017.

“Hostesses are surplus to requirements on the podium; it’s miles like treating them as mere items,” Spanish bicycle owner Mikel Landa of Team Sky instructed Spain’s El Correo newspaper.

But they stay in the game’s blue ribbon event, the Tour de France.

Laura Weislo, Cycling News deputy editor, argues that till girls have the equal reputation in the sport, the hostesses have to both be dropped – or men ought to be used as properly.

She told BBC Radio Four: “You need somebody to present the prizes and it needs to be expert, and it ought to appear proper. It needs to be pretty for the cameras, but men can be lovely too.

“The entire podium kissing on the cheek factor I suppose is just a little bit weird, and it simply brings this detail of sexualization of the ceremony into it that I do not think is important.”

Ring-card ladies, unique to combat sports, additionally feature heavily in combined martial arts (MMA).

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the dominant MMA promoter worldwide, returns to London’s O2 Arena in March for the tenth time and could carry its version of ring ladies – known as octagon girls.

UFC’s website has photos of a number of the octagon women from around the world, one description accompanying a picture reads, “the long black hair, fascinating smile and curves of Camila Oliveira are jaw losing”.
The Women’s Sports Trust says the problem with using fashions alongside sport is “the message it gives about how women are valued in society”.

“Sporting visitors are predicted to respect the hit, proficient, sturdy men, taking part in opposition, with the function of girls only based totally on their physical look.”

Its statement delivered: “Sports mirrors and magnifies society. If we depict girls in a game in a way that reinforces a slender stereotype, we add to the stress younger ladies in particular experience to appearance and act a positive manner.”

British freelance sportswriter Leigh Copson is an eager UFC follower, along together with his 10-year-antique daughter, who has been inspired by the woman fighters instead of the girls parading outside the ring.

He stated: “Women have been an awful lot extra than eye sweet in MMA for a while now – (former mixed martial artist) Ronda Rousey’s the motive my little girl does karate and kickboxing.

“Ring-card girls have been a lifestyle of fighting sports for a long time but I don’t assume they add anything to the presentation and I wouldn’t pass over them within the slightest in the event that they were eliminated.”

UFC stated it did now not desire to touch upon whether or not it might be reconsidering the use of octagon women.

Although a long way greater universal inside the US, cheerleaders do make appearances in UK recreation which includes soccer, rugby, and cricket.

Zoe Rutherford, dealing with the director of The London Cheerleaders, says cheerleading is often misunderstood: “It’s a real disgrace that it’s miles related to the concept of shaking pom poms and looking quite.

“My dancers are athletes of their personal right – they are rather strong and flexible and deliver performances of excessive caliber.”
Crystal Palace Football Club has released an announcement in defense of its own cheerleading squad, the Crystals.

A spokeswoman stated, in addition to elevating money for properly causes, the cheerleaders contributed to the “specific atmosphere within the stadium”.

She brought that the membership had never received a criticism approximately the Crystals.

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