“New Zealand defeated Australia in a thrilling final at the 2019 Netball World Cup with a margin as close as they come, 52-51. Giving New Zealand their 5th World Cup tournament victory.”
I bet you didn’t hear that once on the evening news, nor once in the paper. Probably not even by a friend on social media.
We can sit here and complain why there is little to no focus on the sporting achievements of women in the world- specifically Australia – or we can educate the public sphere on the true warrior status of the great Australian Diamonds, as they are commonly known, who proudly represented women everywhere in Australia at the 2019 Netball World Cup.
The Australian Diamonds proved to be a force to be reckoned with, securing a place in the finals with not one loss to their name. Making it all the way to the finals to only lose by one point to dominate champions New Zealand, better known as the Silver Ferns.
Reaching the final round of a world cup tournament is no small feat. A team must beat the best of the best that the world stage has to offer and remain physically and mentally fit at the same time. The effort and dedication these warriors put into their world cup campaign proved to be one of a team with a winning mentality.
Nevertheless, where was the coverage throughout this journey? Where was their homecoming? The Football World Cup has seen the Socceroos advance from the group stage to the round of 16 once. Yet the Australian media treat the Socceroos like they won the World Cup every four years when they return home.
The Australian Diamonds have been crowned Netball World Champions a record 11 times. This makes them the most successful netball team in the world. The Australian Diamonds are ranked number one in the International Netball Federation Rankings. They are undoubtedly Australia’s most successful sporting team, who deliver year in year out.
Yes, their pay isn’t as lavish as their male counterparts, but at least they are the most dominant champions in their sport. Looking at you Australian men’s cricket, football and rugby teams.
The feat achieved was no small one. Yet the Australian media has chosen to report on the second place Diamond’s in the following manner;
While the Socceroos are given motivational articles such as;
- World Cup 2018: What The Socceroos Need To Do To Progress To Last 16
- World Cup: Socceroos Always Doomed To Fail In Russia Because Of FFA’s Approach
One of my favourite things the Australian media does (not) is sympathise with the woes of every male sporting team, yet criticise all the efforts of the female teams.
If the achievements of Australian women in sport was not clear enough for you, here is a comparison of the most recent achievements of women in sport verse men in sport;
- FIFA World Cup:
Women’s team: round of 16 versus men’s team: eliminated in the group stage
- FIBA Basketball World Cup:
Women’s team: runners-up versus men’s team: round of 16
- ICC Cricket World Cup
Women’s team: semi-final versus men’s team: semi-final
The achievements of women in sport is something to marvel at and celebrate. We are a great sporting nation. We have team in every major sport in the world. We compete in every sporting world cup there is. Both the male and female teams bring great pride to our young nation. We need to create some equality in the way we discuss and publish news about both teams, however.
Nevertheless, the Australian Diamonds did an amazing job at this year’s Netball World Cup. They may have come short but their example is something all sporting enthusiasts should aspire to: 11 time World Cup Champions. A feat only they have achieved and a record they probably will keep for years to come.
Well done to all our women in sport in 2019. Equality in coverage may not be around the corner. But the achievements of the women’s teams are definitely at the forefront of our sporting history.