The topic of gender discrimination has been controversial for long time. The stereotypes that women are expected to be solely responsible for household errands, and that they are inferior to men, are old, profoundly racist and wrong. Still, they have deeply affected women’s lives for centuries, and in modern time they’ve influenced and are still influencing the way women practice sports.
The UNESCO recognizing (in 1978) that sports and physical activities are a human right and the United Nation highlighting the importance of ‘Gender Equality’ by introducing it in its Sustainable Development Goals, represent two milestones in the process to reach gender equality and empower women and girls.
When we remember that in a not so far 1896, Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, dared to declare that “No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks”, it’s pretty clear that gender equality in life and in sports has come a long way. Still unequal wage, unequal viewership, and unequal opportunities between men and women continue to exist. Often the discrimination is subtle and takes the form of verbal and visual contexts. For example, we are all familiar with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the FIFA Women’s World Cup or the Women Lacrosse (sometimes shortened as WLAX). The question we should ask ourselves though, is why the need of specifying when it’s a women’s sport, while in men’s sports gender is never mentioned? We don’t say MNBA, Men FIFA or Men Lacrosse. Why do we have to set apart women’s sports from men’s? Even worse why are we still allowing women to be left out or be forbidden to play a sport with men just because of their gender?
During the process of branding and disciplining FXC - Fireball Extreme Challenge™, we spent a considerable amount of time thinking how to root out any sort of discrimination from this new sport; how to move away from the past and make a decisive leap toward a future of unity, respect and equality. Sport and physical activities are meant to be for everybody and should be practiced by everyone. They enhance individuals’ emotional or physical fitness, and often create life-changing social bonds. If sport doesn’t discriminate, why should we?
This is what lead us to create a discipline which is simple to learn, explosive, fun to play and watch, and especially 100% inclusive. Not only FXC can be played everywhere by men and women but it MUST be played together. Its co-ed nature and the mandatory presence of at least 2 players of the opposite gender means there is no space for prejudice, racism and exclusion on any of our courts.
All the FXC matches we witnessed demonstrated that this sport can be played with almost identical athletic results by men and women. The only requisite asked to each participant is the will to succeed and to train seriously. We will provide a sense of purpose, free from pre-concepts and discrimination. That is, in our experience, the key ingredient, the humus to form positive and powerful social bonds among our athletes, as they train together and learn how to become a TEAM.
With regular training and time, the values of unity, respect and responsibility will take root in other areas of the their lives fostering the individual’s belief in his or her ability to tackle with the challenges of life, and hopefully this will contribute to benefit the countries and the society we live in, bettering our health, community, and education.
CEO & Co-Creator