Right in the heart of Malmö, near Triangeln and Pildammsparken, at the venerable Malmö IP (“Malmö Sports Field”) we’ll start the walk that focuses on women’s sports and sporting in the city. The walk could be done anywhere in and outside the city; women’s sporting and physical activity is far from an isolated phenomenon. And strangely enough, despite decades of gender-politics and activism, it seems necessary to draw attention to women in sports. The reason is that sport, just like the rest of society, is characterized by male superiority and the subordination of women.
The women’s football team FC Rosengård plays their home matches at Malmö IP. The team wins the Swedish top league, and aims to win the Women’s Champions League, almost every season. It offers world-class player as Mittag, Sjögran, Bachman and Marta. Ten years ago, the club name was Malmö FF Women, then LdB FC and now FC Rosengård. All these name changes have have a gender dimension: the economic subordination of women’s football, which forced the changes.
Across the street we’ll find the old Tennis Hall, which now holds roller derby, a contact sport on roller skates that’s played exclusively by women. The sport originates from USA and the banked-track roller skating marathons of the 1930s. It was revived after languishing in the early 2000s. Some say that roller derby is part of contemporary feminist activism, although there are some male clubs in the US. In Malmö, there are two roller derby clubs.
For our last stop we visit Pildammsparken and one of the two outdoor gyms that have been there for a few years. For women, taking place in public areas is a known problem – outdoor gyms and other spontaneous sites are no exceptions. Boys and men do take place, and they take places in possession. This is not acceptable and we need change! What can the various stakeholders contribute with, as future public spaces for sport and exercise are planned and constructed?
This walk is intended to provide knowledge of women’s sporting and physical activity in the city, but also to provoke thoughts about various aspects of women’s bodies, economic, social and cultural conditions, and terms and conditions of women’s sports.