Sports and Gender – getting into a debate on

As a female who has chosen to participate in a male-dominated sport (mountain biking), the issue of gender is something that comes up often. I am extremely interested in promoting female participation in mountain biking. Not for the shock value, or because I prefer female company to male company. My passion stems from personal experience – I have found that taking on a physically and mentally challenging sport has pushed me to become stronger, to learn to let go of my inhibitions and to overcome fears both on and off the bike. At the same time, I have met many strong, intelligent and interesting men and women through my travels, and I would like to encourage others to take up some sort of sport and experience the same benefits. There are particular challenges in getting women involved in mountain biking, whether it be stereotypes, perceived risk or simply the male-oriented atmosphere, and I am doing my best to break down these barriers by writing about them. At the same time, I also participate in Womens downhill groups, and hope to take my instructors license this year.
Here is an article I wrote on pinkbike called ‘XX or XY? Bikes don’t care’, in response to an earlier article ‘Why no Y’ by Mitchell Scott. I submitted it for front page publication, but it was rejected – I hope you will enjoy it anyway!