Term Paper: Sports Culture

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Sports

When she was in high school, my mother played basketball. Only they didn't call it basketball; they called it netball. The rules of the game are nearly identical to basketball except that there are only seven players on each team on the court. Netball, my mom told me, was the most popular girls' sport in school and she happened to be the captain of her team. When I asked if she wished she could have played basketball instead she laughed and said no. Netball was known as "the female version of basketball." Girls didn't play basketball and boys didn't play netball; it was that simple. Gender-differentiated sports don't score in the politically correct educational environment in the 21st century United States. When I first learned of my mother's experiences with netball and with sports in general I was appalled because although girls and boys often engaged in different athletic activities, students could not be excluded from a sport simply because of their gender. However, as I reflected on my mother's experiences I came to believe that gender-differentiated sports could have a positive impact on athletics in general. When females play their own sport like netball, they have the opportunity to excel without being compared to males. Women's professional sports, with the possible exception of tennis, rarely receive as much media coverage or credit in popular culture as men's professional sports.

During the interview, my other also revealed her general appreciation for physical fitness and athletics. Not only did she excel at netball; she also ran for her college track and field team and played several sports occasionally and casually including tennis and golf. She remains interested in sports and although not at her peak physical condition continues to be fit and healthy. Because her interest in sports was piqued by netball I view gender-specific sports as being potentially beneficial for both genders. My mother received an unusual level of support from her family and peers, too. Rather than tell her that sports were for boys, or teasing her about being a tomboy, my grandparents encouraged my mother. Sports were viewed as a natural way to improve health and well-being. Similarly, my mom's friends participated in sports because they found netball and other activities fun and stimulating. Not all women in my mom's generation were encouraged to do sports and yet others were challenged to reveal their sexual orientation. Growing up in Jamaica, however, my mother's upbringing was different than mine for cultural and generational reasons. My mom described Jamaican culture as being patriarchal but at the same time promoting an image of strong women that prompted people like my mother to develop their athletic skills

As a female growing up in the United States, my experiences with physical activity were conflicted. In elementary school I excelled at sports and participated fully in track and field activities. Sports were fun for me and I never remember feeling any real differences between what boys did and what girls did until I… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Sports Culture.  (2006, September 27).  Retrieved July 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sports-culture/510478

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"Sports Culture."  Essaytown.com.  September 27, 2006.  Accessed July 17, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sports-culture/510478.