NTU lecturer discusses COVID-19 impact on women’s sports

NTU lecturer discusses COVID-19 impact on women’s sports

 February 11, 2021

 Read time

“The pandemic has really opened up conversations about gender inequality in sport,” says Nottingham Trent University Senior Lecturer Dr Ali Bowes in conversation with Sky Sports News.

She spoke about the NTU’s School of Science and Technology research in looking at the impact of COVID-19 on women's sport.

Opening up conversations about inequality in sports 

NTU’s research found 80 per cent of elite female athletes believe the growth of women's sport was affected by inequalities between men's and women's sport. Meanwhile, 66 per cent were worried about the enduring financial impact of coronavirus and 91 per cent think they are not paid equally to their male counterparts.

Ali states that there is a "prioritisation of men's sport, and women athletes felt forgotten about during the initial lockdown.”

"Research we are about to publish shows that women athletes have many worries about the impact of the pandemic, but are mainly concerned about the long-term financial impact on sport,” she reports. "This was often aligned with concerns about both the quantity and quality of media coverage. Disparities were exaggerated when men's sport was able to restart much earlier, and since then, more consistently.”

"The pandemic has really opened up conversations about gender inequality in sport. It emphasised the difficulties many elite sportswomen face, and in calling those out - from issues around competition cancellations, 'elite' football academies, testing, funding and TV coverage - it provides a possibility for stakeholders to reconsider their approach to women's sport,” she adds.

"I think the future could look bright, but there is a need for broader cultural changes regarding women's and girls' involvement in sport, including normalising women's sport as simply 'sport'."

Professional focus diversity and inclusion 

A Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of Sport, Ali supervises research dissertations in the sociology of sport, primarily around women's sport, related to media coverage, social media, gender and sexuality, professionalisation and commercialisation.

Prior to working at NTU, Ali was the Programme Area Lead in the Higher Education Sport department at Loughborough College, as well as the Course Leader for their Sport Science and Sport Coaching blended degree provision, and a Lecturer in the Sociology of Sport and Physical Education. 

She is a trained PE Teacher who has taught at schools in Nottingham and Leicester. Ali has also taught the Sociology of Sport at Loughborough University during her PhD, and has since returned as an invited guest lecturer.

Ali’s research areas centre on sociological examinations of women’s sport, including sociocultural examinations of professional and elite women’s sport; media representations of women in sport; professional women’s golf; gender and sport; the intersections of gender and national identity in sport; and the Englishness and English nationalism in sport.

Work alongside thought-leaders and industry experts at NTU

A career at Nottingham Trent University means bringing together your passions and interests into a successful, fulfilling and impactful career.

Find a professional role that matches your professional interests at NTU.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

Share this page:

  Linkedin     X     Instagram     Facebook     Press release 

Join our women's careers community