Wednesday 28 September 2016

Holly Carpenter: 'A pink Ladyball? Seems like a load of balls to me'

Holly Carpenter

Published 15/01/2016 | 07:29

Holly Carpenter
Holly Carpenter

I was quite taken aback by a new follower on my Twitter feed – an Irish product called the Ladyball.

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It’s essentially a baby pink football which is billed as being a “soft-touch for a woman’s grip” and designed for a “lady’s game”.

The new product is endorsed by former Dublin footballer Ger Brennan and is “Eazi-play for a woman’s ability” and “fashion-driven for a woman’s style”.

Ger is quoted as saying: “I have no doubt the softer texture will be welcomed by all the ladies out there who are playing games or want to get involved. The fact it is lighter than the regular balls is also a game changer”.

Any self-respecting woman would never stand for this.

I sent it around to around to the girls, asking if they thought this product was some kind of hoax.

If this is genuine, then I am beyond shocked that anyone would think this condescending and patronising product is a good idea – it reminds me of those ads from the 1950s.

But if it is a clever ploy designed to get people talking about women in sport, then fair play. 

We have a strong tradition of outstanding Irish female athletes and support is growing thanks to the likes of Katie Taylor, Stephanie Roche and the Irish women’s rugby team.

I’m a self-confessed “girly-girl” who wears pink gym gear, but I can still dead lift 65kg. It’s about time we challenged prejudice and misconceptions about women and sport. We may be girly but we’re not soft.

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