People 01 June 2018
It’s no secret that being a woman in sports feels like an inherent disadvantage. Surrounded by stereotypes that men are stronger and faster, women have to do more in order to break through those stereotypes and shine in any sport they play.
When it comes to my sport, polo, I get to face those issues head-on and shatter them. Polo is one of the few sports where men and women are on the field together. Each gender is held to the same standards when playing and discrepancies in gender ability are not a factor.
"Confidence in yourself is the number one key to success. Once you can achieve self-confidence, anything is possible"
Fortunately for me, riding horses has been a passion of mine since I was five years old. Getting the chance to combine that with my naturally competitive spirit is a blessing.
But, as happy as playing makes me and as incredible as it is that gender barriers are not as prominent in polo, being a representative for women’s equality in athletics is a responsibility I do not take lightly.
"I strive to make a difference in everything I do, that is just the nature of my competitive attitude."
During matches, I make sure I realize the significance of what it means to be on the same field as men playing in the same game. Many women do not have that opportunity in their sports. The fact that it is considered a privilege in my game is a facet of society that needs to change. Athletics do not need to be segregated.
I strive to make a difference in everything I do, that is just the nature of my competitive attitude. One of my main focuses is working harder and ensuring I am always at the top of my game to prove my skills.
That would be my best advice for other women in sports. More times than not, the wind is going to be blowing in your face, pushing you away from your goal. But, if you go out there with the thoughts, “I can do it” and “I am better”, then you’ll be able to leap over any obstacles that stand in your way. Confidence in yourself is the number one key to success. Once you can achieve self-confidence, anything is possible. A quote that has always stuck with me is, “Those who say they can, and those who say they can’t, are both usually right”. Believe in yourself, and never let anything hold you back!
I hope that women continue to make tremendous strides in achieving their dreams!
Dr. Victoria Bateman, an esteemed economist best known for her nude protests for gender equality, uses her body as a form of art that serves to challenge the stigma around women's bodies and women's rights, in the world of economics. In March 2018, Bateman attended the annual conference of the Royal Economic Society in Brighton stark naked with the word "respect" written across her chest and stomach. Unbashful in delivering her message, Bateman was determined to start a conversation.