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When girls become women: Sport socialization in Singapore
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Paper presented at the III International Conference of Physical Education and Sports Science (III ICPESS 2010) on “Youth in Physical Education and Sport”, Singapore, 25 - 28 May 2010
The enduring colonial tradition that women in Singapore seldom participated in sport has been slow to dissolve. However. the nature and rate of positive change in the values that guide decisions about involvement has become more pronounced in recent times. Women are becoming more active and some would say even more successful than men in the competitive arena. The formalisation of Physical Education, as part of the school curriculum. has stimulated greater awareness and facilitated greater exposure for girls to a domain that had otherwise been neglected. Women have become more prepared to enter sports usually characterised as male dominated, for example contact team sports. This paper examines the shift in prioritisation of values amongst Singapore's sporting females. Information gained from a small-scale survey and two interviews with
sportswomen in national contact sport teams, provides a framework to explore these trends and the process of empowerment of females in sport. This paper provides an insight into the motivating factors for women's sports participation, the signiticance of the school sports experience and the accompanying implications.
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