By Shreya Yepuri ’15, Editor-in-Chief
The perception that big-ticket sports, usually played by boys, gets all our attention and money held true in polls conducted by U.S. Government seniors in Mrs. Jill Stewart’s and Mrs. Yvette Williamson’s classes .
Survey results from more than 100 students from ninth- to 12th-grades, gathered by Morgan Speer ’14, Kaylie Fandina ’14 and Gianna DiGiuseppe ’14, found 90 percent believed more popular team sports got more recognition, while 60 percent of those polled believed male sports got better facilities access in addition to prominent publicity.
“Unfortunately, I am not very surprised by this statistic,” Greg Campbell ’15, a varsity track-and-field athlete, told The Talon via email.
“At just about any high school the amount of attention given to a program is predicated on its success,” he added. “That being said, I’m starting to see things change for the better. Our boys’ and girls’ sports teams are starting to share facilities with one another.”
He commented about the positive shift at Chaminade. He also noted when he and T.J. Brock ’16 broke a combined four records in track-and-field, their accomplishment was announced over the loudspeaker after morning prayer.
“People have always been accustomed to rooting on our state championship boys football and basketball teams in the Eagles Nest and the Cage,” he said. “This year we added the Yacht Club to support our lacrosse team. People are giving more attention to our girls’ basketball team which also won a state championship.”
Mrs. Kelli DiMuro, head coach of the champion varsity girls basketball team, also recognized Chaminade’s efforts to achieve equality while acknowledging perceived gender sport biases.
“Chaminade tries really hard to create equality with girls sports and boys sports. We both get plenty of recognition and support from the school, but it is the misconception of our society that girls sports are not as exciting,” she told The Talon in an email.
“The boys basketball team has the Cage at every home game, yet we get the Cage for maybe one game if we’re lucky.”
As part of full disclosure, The Talon’s sports pages published one story about a record-setting female track-and-field athlete.
About 75 percent surveyed by the poll takers said faculty favor student-athletes, but pollsters did not ask which gender or why.
The seniors took on the assignment in March to explore the nature of polling and to become actively informed citizens.
The pollsters expected the results they obtained and wanted to see if there was a “difference in opinion from men’s and women’s sports.”
Coach DiMuro said it’s part of her job to debunk bias.
“In the end my job is to break the gender bias and really push our fans to come and watch our games to prove that we are just as good, we practice just as hard, and we are just, if not more, exciting to watch,” she said.
The “yes or no” or “boys or girls” questions asked by the poll takers:
Do you think that certain sports teams are allotted more resources and facilities due to gender? Based on the current resources and facilities at Chaminade, who do you believe has more access to them? Do you believe that certain sports get more recognition because of their popularity? Do faculty members favor student athletes more than other students?