Claire Nelson: ”We need to challenge representations”

In response to International Women’s Day, Netball Scotland CEO Claire Nelson discussed their new initiative, #HeadlinestoSidelines, to drive the coverage of women’s sport and Netball from the backburner to the front pages. 

The new campaign looks to acquire a new vision for the media representation of women in sport. The idea stemmed from numerous media outlets in Scotland not covering the Strathclyde Sirens Netball franchise, who have been performing very well in the Vitality Netball Superleague. Not only the franchise, but women’s sport in general and getting people globally to engage with women in sport. 

Speaking to The Netball Show podcast, Nelson highlighted the crucial role that visibility plays in sport.

‘’Visibility is critical, and it can be transformational for women’s sport and the amazing support of Sky Sports has enabled that visibility to go beyond our beliefs, but the challenge now is the coverage across other outlets,’’ she said. 

‘’We are doing amazing things on court, we have a streak of wins, but we are not seeing ourselves out there and in pages where we do deserve a space. 

‘’For us this about finding solutions and learning how women are engaging themselves in sport. 

‘’We need to challenge the representations but then go that one step further and present solutions, reaching out to editors and ask why? It’s really important.

‘’We are so proud of this and we are going to drive it forward as much as possible, it has the chance to be really powerful covering all minority visibilities, not just women, its about changing the coverage away from what we have all come to know.’’ 

The Sirens brand has also gone under transformation, whilst the players are performing on court, staff are doing excellent things on the sidelines to keep pushing the Scotland team forward which Nelson highlighted.

‘’The Sirens brand is growing, it has never looked better in my opinion, so we have been able to put the team out there much more this season,’’ she said. 

‘’We are trying new things this year to try build our brand and work out what the right model for us and I can see that strength coming through. 

‘’Partnerships such as our Nike deal are all crucial to pushing our brand forward but what I am most pleased with is the players putting their personalities out there and showcasing themselves off the court’’. 

One thing is for sure, Netball Scotland and Strathclyde Sirens are pushing the boundaries of women’s sport and Netball to ensure women are represented fairly and we are completely behind it. 

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