Participation and performance of venezuelan women in elite sport. case study: aragua state

Por: J. Murillo e R. Lopez de D’amico.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

The purpose of this study is to analyze and compare the participation and performance of women in competitive sport (elite level) in Venezuela, particularly a case study in Aragua state as a representative region of Venezuelan sport population. The importance of this research is to know and analyze the tendencies and variables that have affected the practice of sport by women, besides it provides a theoretical framework to a practical problem in the Venezuelan sport. This study is the first one related to this topic in our country because no previous empirical research was found, moreover, no comparison was found in terms of medals obtained by men and women in three important national and international events [1, 2]

Methods

This study was based on the theoretical, philosophical and legal framework of sport. The methodology was addressed as a documental descriptive research with an important testimonial support basically from the media (newspaper and videos), archival review and interviews. The selective interview technique was applied to six (6) important women in the Venezuelan sport who have had experience as athletes, judges (referees), managers and coaches. A questionnaire was also applied to 40 participants; all of them were female athletes from different sports. For the purpose of this study, the results of three important sport events were chosen: 1) Bolivarian Games (Ecuador 2001); 2) Pan-American Games (Winnipeg 1999); and 3) National Junior Sport Games (Lara 2001), this last one as the major national sport event in Venezuela.

Results

A nominal scale was used to analyze the results and those are presented in several figures, graphs and tables. Theresults were analyzed in terms of: 1) variables that have influenced women participation in competitive sport and 2) the results that women have obtained in these major events in order to study the performance they have obtained in comparison with male athletes. The gold medals are the ones considered for this study. Another important element included is that in the comparison of women and men performance at the National Sport Games, data from three different states was included [1, 3]

Conclusion

According to this study the number of Venezuelan women who participate in competitive sport is less than men and this is clearly observed in the statistics; the variables are related with sociocultural (stereotypes, mass media), religious, educational, technological and economical limitations. However, the performance female athletes have obtained, in the selected important sport events, is better than the ones of male athletes. Even though these results represent a case study, it is significant because it reflects a tendency not just in Aragua state, but in other two states and even more, in the Venezuelan sport. On the other hand all the data obtained provide and incredible input to continue exploring in this area specifically in the understanding of those variables that affect women participation in sport. Another conclusion of this research is that publications are needed in order to acknowledge the historical support and the influence of Venezuela women but specifically from Aragua state in the development of sport in this region. At the government level some recommendations are suggested to create programs in order to educate and motivate female participation in sport physical activities

References

[1] Murillo, J. (2003). La participación y la actuación de la mujer en el deporte de alto rendimiento en Venezuela. Caso Estado Aragua. Unpublished Master thesis. Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador - Maracay
[2] Chavez, E. (2000). Hacia la excelencia deportiva de la mujer latinoamericana. Paper presented at III Congreso Panamericano Educación Física, Deporte y Recreación para la Mujer y I Simposio de Deporte de Calidad. Caracas: Venezuela.
[3] Coordinadora Técnica Metodológica de Alto Rendimiento Fundadeporte. (2001). Cuadro de medallas XIV Juegos Deportivos Nacionales Juveniles Lara 2001 por disciplina. Carabobo: Author.

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