Monday 8th March is International Women’s Day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women all over the world.
This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge and the Guernsey Sports Commission is looking at the challenges women face in the local sporting world.
Over the coming days we will feature the stories of different Guernsey sportswomen who outline the barriers they have faced within their sport but also how they have worked to overcome them.
Global data still shows that activity levels of women and girls across the world remain lower than men’s. Local evidence shows how this is also the case in Guernsey:
The 2018 Guernsey and Alderney Wellbeing Survey 2018 which surveyed nearly 1000 local adults stated that:
Some patterning of physical activity by age and gender was seen. On average women reported less activity than men across all age groups and this was particularly pronounced in the under–35s and the over–75s. In these groups higher proportions of women had not undertaken activity on any days compared to men in the same age groups.
The Guernsey Sports Commission believes that everyone in Guernsey should have the opportunity and support to participate and compete, and fulfil their potential no matter what their background, age, or level of ability in a safe and supportive environment.
Today we are featuring a woman making waves in what is often considered a male dominated sport – meet Caroline La Touche who is breaking down barriers in darts.
‘I’ve been playing darts for 32 years and in that time I’ve been Guernsey Darts Association Treasurer, I’ve set up the Western Individual Darts League, I did an 8 year term as Guernsey Darts Association Secretary in which I managed to get our Guernsey players to be entered into the Winmau world masters, and for the last 3 years I’ve been Guernsey Darts Association President/ Secretary. I also set up the well supported Herm Darts Open.
‘As a woman, being head of Guernsey Darts can be difficult at times, especially when you are doing both of the top jobs. Some players or committee members aren't keen on change and to keep the sport alive you need to keep the players keen.
‘In recent years I’ve tried to get us membership to the World Federation but this was met with quite a lot of barriers by the older generation not wanting to spend money etc., but I’m pleased to say, with perseverance by myself, we are now members and we will be sending a team to the World Cup in September and a team to the World Masters in early December.
‘For me, I do this job for the players. I am sometimes met with animosity from a small minority but the majority keep me going. I’m very passionate about what I do and, as business woman, I treat my role within Guernsey Darts as such.
‘Our sport is made up of approximately 70% men and 30% women. I think for women in our sport the only barrier we are up against in Guernsey is getting new players to come along and have a go. The top women in our sport love to play the men (the men aren't always keen as we give them a run for their money!) and we all play mixed leagues.
‘My challenge to everyone is we are all equal whatever gender we are and in our sport this has been proven on a National / International level by Fallon Sherrock and Lisa Ashton to name a few. Therefore we should have the same opportunities.’