The Adelaide Oval is far from the only Australian sporting stadium that fails to recognise women in any significant way, according to an audit by The New Daily.
There are no grandstands named after sportswomen at the nation’s major sporting stadiums. The SCG and the MCG are leading the way, although the South Australian Cricket Association has committed to recognising female cricketers at the Adelaide Oval before the start of next summer.
Sydney Olympic hero Cathy Freeman is recognised by Cathy Freeman Park, a public space outside ANZ Stadium in Homebush.
The most prominent sporting venue named after a woman is the 6000-seat capacity Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park.
The issue gained national prominence last week when Angela Pippos criticised authorities for ignoring women at the revamped Adelaide Oval, and Ian Chappell came out in support of recognition for women. Both said that indigenous cricketing pioneer Faith Thomas and former Australian captain Karen Rolton were deserving of recognition.
I think the MCG has done it the best of anyone and the SCG has made good in-roads
Karen Rolton told The New Daily that the issue was not about her. “This isn’t about myself. It’s good for sporting people to be recognised for what they have done, for their sport and for their achievements,” she said.
“It is important to have something similar to men in terms of grandstands and statues because it shows that it is the same [for both sexes]. It is not just a token.”
Western Australia Cricket Association chief executive Christine Matthews, who played cricket for Australia for 11 years, says whenever male cricketers are recognised, female cricketers should be too.
She said it was now more broadly accepted that sportswomen should be celebrated, but in mainstream sports there was a tendency to compare male and female cricketers and the popularity of the game coming into play.
“I think the MCG has done it the best of anyone and the SCG has made good in-roads, and it is interesting at Adelaide Oval that they’ve had an opportunity and appear to not have done it at all,” she told The New Daily.
She said the WACA had honour boards to recognise female and male Test cricketers. It had recently introduced a walk of fame of male Test cricketers, and was “looking at putting in the female players over winter”.
Here is The New Daily’s audit of how Australia’s major stadiums recognise sportswomen:
Melbourne Cricket Ground
• Statues outside ground (two of 14)
Betty Cuthbert (athletics)
Shirley Strickland (athletics)
• National Sports Museum
Cricket: Women are recognised in the Hall of Fame. The museum also has a gallery featuring achievements in women’s cricket.
AFL: Women’s football display.
Sydney Cricket Ground
• Walk of Honour (three out of 46)
Marlene Mathews (athletics)
Betty Cuthbert (athletics)
Marjorie Jackson-Nelson (athletics)
• Ladies’ Stand
The Ladies’ Stand was built in 1896, although the SCG first accepted women as members in 1974.
ANZ Stadium (Olymnpic Stadium)
Cathy Freeman Park
Public space outside the stadium. It includes the sculpture Eight Women, inspired by the women involved in lighting the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games Cauldron: Freeman, Betty Cuthbert, Raelene Boyle, Dawn Fraser, Shirley Strickland, Shane Gould, Debbie Flintoff-King and Louise Sauvage.
No women represented. The South Australian Cricket Association has said it will honour female cricketers in some way before the start of the next cricket season. Grandstands, bars, plaques and statues at the Oval recognise male sporting achievements.
No significant recognition of women. Stands include the Lillee-Marsh Stand and the Prindiville Stand, the latter named after a former president of the WACA. There are photos displayed at the WACA of cricketing captains, including women.
The Gabba says it does not recognise sportspeople in any major way.
Blundstone Arena Tasmania (Bellerive Oval)
• Honour board
An honour board in the members’ bar displays the names of the Kim Fazackerley Medal (best female player) winners.
Cricket Tasmania said the completion of a new western stand would provide greater opportunities to honour female players, in particular Kim Fazackerley and Julia Price.