This post is the start of a series this week in the WomenTalkSports.com network titled “Best of ’09.” Throughout this week, our community will be posting about their favorite moments in women’s sports in 2009.
There’s no doubt, 2009 was an exciting year in the women’s sports world, and I’m excited to see more posts. For me, though, hands down, my favorite moment was creating the WomenTalkSports.com blog network. It’s the first time in history female sports fans have come together and taken action as a community online.
We launched WomenTalkSports.com in February of 2009 with a mission of increasing attention, awareness and coverage of women’s sports. We felt that traditional media was doing somewhat of a disservice to female athletes by not focusing and covering women’s achievements in sports. For example, when was the last time you picked up the sports section of a newspaper and saw the headline of a female football player, swimmer, ice hockey player or gymnast? It doesn’t happen often.
In the spirit of citizen journalism, we took matters into our own hands. I, along with two of my like-minded friends, Jane Schonberger and Ann Gaffigan (and later joined by Lesley Higgins) decided to start a network of bloggers who take it upon ourselves to cover the achievements of female athletes. We knew there were quite a few of us out there, so we started reaching out and asking if we’d like to come together as a community.
In 2009, our network was born. We now have over 70 contributors to the site, and a community of engaged advocates. We cover local events, discuss the hottest trends in the media, digest cultural and gender issues, conduct interviews, do research and simply do our best to promote women in sport in every possible way. Here are just a few quotes from our members and friends:
“It’s clear that women in sport need a dedicated platform to celebrate their passion as well as the challenges they face. By joining together, we amplify our voices and are better able to bring women’s sports into the mainstream,” Jane Schonberger, PrettyTough.com
“We kept thinking that if sites like Deadspin could create massive discussions about men’s sports, we could do the same for women. All we had to do was start talking to each other and create a community, turns out we were right.” Megan Hueter, BecauseIPlayedSports.com
“We need people like you. If you’re not blogging about us, why should we ask a dude to do it? We need to take care of our own business.” Nancy Lieberman, ESPN Women’s Basketball Analyst, NancyLieberman.com
“Through social networking, we’re able to get our voices out there. I can reach whoever it is who wants to know about me. WomenTalkSports helps us connect with all the people who need to know we’re more than just athletes,” Women’s Sports Foundation President Jessica Mendoza, jmendoza.com
“I’ve been very pleased with how WTS has showcased my College Softball Blog, and helped integrate my blog with other coverage of women’s collegiate sports,”