Women's History Month 2023
Written by: Katerina Prihodova
The history of women in sports is full of obstacles and discrimination. For a long time, women were considered physically weak and unsuitable for sports. At first, they were not allowed to play sports in various sports associations at all. The reasons were varied and often repeated, but these were repeated - it's unhealthy for her, women with muscles are not attractive. Over time, the situation changed, and women's sports associations were established. Even after the formation of associations, they could not participate in competitions, races, or matches. However, over time this too has changed, and women have become successful athletes at all levels, from amateur to professional.
And what is the history of women in rowing? For a long time, women were considered physically weak and unsuitable for this demanding sports discipline. Rowing has been a male sport for most of history. The first mentions of women's rowing date back to the 19th century, when women began to get involved in recreational rowing. However, races for women were very rare. One exception was Ann Glanville and her crew of anglers who took part in public regattas and were rarely beaten in Britain (even by male crews). While women could compete in tennis, swimming or figure skating at the Olympic Games before the first World War, rowing was reserved for men at the Olympic Games.
This situation only started to change in the middle of the 20th century, when women had been striving for the opportunity to participate in rowing competitions for a long time. In 1951, women took part in the European Championships for the first time, although their races were held the day before the "real" European Championships. Women also competed on a 1000m course, unlike the men who had the "classic" 2000m course. Female rowers were included in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal for the first time. Even so, women still faced discrimination and unequal conditions. For example, women's rowing teams often received less financial support than men's teams and had limited training opportunities.
Fortunately, the situation has improved in recent decades, and women's rowing has become a full-fledged and respected discipline. Today, women's rowing teams participate in the same competitions as men's teams and compete for the same prizes and recognition. Additionally, women's rowing has become a popular sport for women at all levels, from amateur to professional.
I myself have been rowing since I was 12 years old, in those 20 years I have not encountered unequal conditions for men and women in my club. I am very happy for that and I know that even today it is not a matter of course. I owe it to the women mentioned above, development, and the right people at the club.