Navigating Gender Expectations and Building Community

Megan Bassett, discusses gender roles within the sporting landscape.

A Woman’s Journey in Sport

In the world of sports, the journey for women often involves navigating a labyrinth of entrenched gender expectations. Undergraduate student, Megan Bassett, a seasoned advocate for gender equality in sports, sheds light on the challenges females face in the sporting arena.

Megan explains. “Unfortunately, the journey in sport as a woman often entails navigating through entrenched gender expectations. Whether it’s subtle instances like being singled out in a gym for unsolicited advice while my male partner goes unnoticed despite performing the same exercises, or broader societal norms dictating how women should behave and excel in athletic pursuits, these expectations can be both discouraging and exhausting to confront.” Megan adds, “While progress has been made in promoting gender equality in sports, the persistent reinforcement of stereotypes, particularly by males across the sport sector, highlights the ongoing need for advocacy and awareness. By actively challenging these biases, we can create a more inclusive environment for all athletes, further advancing our progress toward equality.” 

As a woman immersed in the world of sport, Megan shares her personal experience, profoundly shaped by the sense of community and lasting friendships formed through her involvement with her campus netball team. Beyond the excitement of competition and success, it is the bonds formed on the court that have enriched her university experience. These relationships extend beyond mere teammates; they are her support network, a source of inspiration, and a testament to the power of shared passion and friendship. Megan’s university journey would have been quite different without her netball team. 

The journey to establish a sports club, particularly as a woman, was not without its challenges. However, Megan highlights the support and belief from a member of the UoM Sport staff that propelled her forward. His endorsement and encouragement not only opened doors to senior roles within sports leadership, such as league coordinator and sport executive committee member, but also instilled in her the confidence to navigate the complexities of leadership in a male-dominated arena. His advocacy served as a reminder that, despite obstacles, perseverance and mentorship can pave the way for meaningful progress. 

“Megan will be a fantastic addition to the UoM Sport team, and she’ll undoubtedly have a positive impact on women. Her journey highlights the necessity for more role models like her in sports. Through her leadership and determination, she is driving progress and highlighting the strength of women. We look forward to her joining the team in the summer.” 



Andrew Ellison, Recreational Sport Coordinator. 

Megan’s experiences highlight the ongoing challenges for women in sports. Her journey emphasises the significance of advocacy, awareness, and mentorship in creating an inclusive environment. Through shared passion and perseverance, women can continue to shape a brighter future in sports. 

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