News Store
Important notice to all NewStore users. The NewsStore service is now free! Please click here for more information. Help

Sun-Herald

THE EYE

Author: RIC CHAPMAN
Date: 26/10/1991
Words: 1475
          Publication: The Sun Herald
Section: Sport
Page: 84
SEXISM CHARGE THREATENS SPORT

CHARGES of sexual discrimination and the prospect of a controversial legal case are tearing apart one of Australia's fast growing sports.

The drama started with the abolition of the women's section of the $175,000 Professional Beach Volleyball Australia (PBVA) competition three weeks before the start of the season.

Now the women are claiming they were discriminated against because they weren't paid the same amount as the men. They also claim they weren't allocated adequate centre court time.

The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW is investigating complaints about pay parity and the axing of the women's tour, which happened last week and just two years after they first entered the competition.

The competitors are devastated.

Most of the women came from the junior Australia indoor volleyball team and were told if they competed in the rebel American beach game they would be banned from playing for their country again.

Marion Taylor, 22, was captain of the national junior team at the time and she believed the spiel from the powerbrokers behind the professional movement that her future was in beach volleyball.

This was because the American beach volleyball game was booming and Australia would follow suit.

Taylor had been earmarked as a future Australian captain but sacrificed it to take on the professional beach version.

She quickly became Australia's premier female player and stuck at professional beach volleyball despite the lack of parity in prizemoney.

"Now, all I feel is cheated and extremely disappointed," she said. "... Obviously disappointed we have been dropped, but more than that, disappointed at the way the axing was undertaken."

Taylor said the only explanation she received for the axing was that the recession had hit everyone hard.

Anti-Discrimination Board president Steve Mark said he believed the professional women's beach volleyball movement had "tremendous fodder for complaint".

"Obviously I don't have all the facts so I can't make judgments," he said. "But from what I've heard and the fact that the prizemoney badly lacked parity last year means that things have been conducted in a spirit contrary to the basic principles of the exercise.

"There are lots of legal twists and turns in cases such as this but we will try to attempt to conciliate this.

"And that means it could lead to the Equal Opportunities Tribunal Board. They have the binding power to order them to award compensation and damages to the women for any loss up to $40,000."

And ironically that's about how much the women's circuit was worth last year compared with the $120,000-plus the men received.

Over the past two years, of the 530 centre court matches played, only 60 were allocated to the women, say the sacked females.

So, just three weeks short of the start of the season, unexpectedly, the women were cut, leaving them sport-less for the summer, bitter and ready for legal action.

When approached for comment, the executive director of PBVA, Dan Kiefer, an American citizen, refused to come to the phone.

In the background, despite repeated pleas to get a quote from him, he was overheard to say: "If he wants an axe to grind he won't get it from me. There is not a story in this."

But there most assuredly is. When asked to comment on why no money was snipped off the men's tour to help the women's survive, the selftitled office lackey, Paul Raudkepp, seemingly the spokesman for Kiefer and the PBVA, said: "I'm not in a position to tell you all those things."

What he did say was: "We have a prepared statement that has been sent to the women. If you want I will post you a copy."

It didn't turn up. He wouldn't release it over the phone.

Dr Lyn Embrey, the president of the Sportswomen's Association of Australia, said: "It certainly seems to me like they (PBVA) are in breach of anti-discrimination legislation.

"The girls are entitled to be upset ... and they should go straight to the Anti-Discrimination Board.

"I am so glad that something like this has finally been brought to the media's attention because discrimination against women in sport is completely rife."

In another twist, the existing amateur beach volleyball body in Australia, determined to stem the American-based professional tide, have started their own circuit and have the backing of Diet Pepsi.

They have agreed to talks with the previously banned women.

WIDNES SEARCH FOR OFFIAH

WHERE is Martin Offiah? That's the question being asked in English league circles because the lightning fast winger has not turned up for training with Widnes yet this season, and his career appears in limbo following contractual differences. Offiah, who most recently played with St George, signed a 10-year contract with Widnes in 1988, but has in the past been wooed by gridiron officials to switch codes. His club's legal advisers have indicated Offiah is not available to play American football. Manager Jim Mills said: "Offiah is not for sale at any price. It's up to him to honour his contract."

HORAN, LITTLE REJECT LEAGUE

STAR Wallaby centres Jason Little and Tim Horan will resist the big-money rugby league offers certain to flow after the World Cup to continue their rugby union careers in 1992. The news is a boost to the code as the Wallabies prepare for one of the most significant matches in Australian rugby history-against New Zealand in their World Cup semi-final early tomorrow morning (1am Sydney time). Speculation has been rife about a league raid on Australia's best rugby talent after the tournament, with Little and Horan as two of the prime targets. North Sydney have had their sights on Little since tempting him with a $300,000 offer in 1990, while Horan's line-breaking skills, strength and copybook defence make him a surefire hit in league. "I'm content," Little said. "I want to stay with rugby. You don't say: 'I've played a certain number of Tests, now I can go to league.' I know I can play a lot better so there's plenty more I can do in rugby." Horan said: "There are so many places to go and people to meet, so many more tours to look forward to. I'd like to play rugby in another country, maybe Italy, sometime, too. I'm 100 per cent rugby right now." Meanwhile, Wallaby hooker Phil Kearns, a keen Cronulla supporter, is still being chased. St George are believed to have an "in" with the Wallabies because of Scott Gourley. The new generation is different-another of the impressive youngsters from the Australian rugby union schoolboys team has crossed the barrier. The first to go was Craig Polla Mounter (Canterbury). Now Scott Murray has joined Easts and the talented John Turner is a Bear. Norths coach Steve Martin is in Great Britain, eagle eye focused on a couple of players in the Cup semi-final.

NO DOUBT ABOUT GOLLOGLY

GOLLOGLY is now a gelding -Gollogly the horse, that is. And our Newcastle bureau boss, Grahame Timbrell, has the evidence. The two-year-old galloper, part-owned by Newcastle racing columnist and former jockey Alan Gollogly and named after him, went under the vet's knife last week. And at 5.30 last Thursday morning, his Cessnock trainer, Jeremy Sylvester, practical joker extraordinaire, had the proof deposited, by courier, on Timbrell's front door step. Inside a polystyrene cooler and packed in ice sat Gollogly's (the horse)testicles. The sight of them sure gave the muesli a funny taste. Even the cat(a male) turned his nose up at his biscuits and hid. Gollogly (the columnist)told Timbrell several months ago that the horse would never go under the vet's knife. "I feel too close an affinity with this horse-it would be too painful for man and beast," he said. Sylvester, the humorist and the man responsible for naming the horse, had other ideas. He believed that if Gollogly (the horse) was ever to be any good he would have to lose his two prize assets to keep his mind on racing. He believed it only proper that the public should know and Timbrell should have the evidence. Gollogly (the columnist) was too shaken and upset to comment on the operation. The former jewels of Gollogly(the horse) have been passed on to his namesake.

 
Back  Back to Search Results
 

Advertise with Us | Fairfax Digital Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Member Agreement
© 2014 Fairfax Digital Australia & New Zealand Ltd.