Last week, the Aurora Games took over the Times Union Center in upstate New York. Billed as a worldwide multi-recreation girls’ festival, the occasion brought collectively roughly 150 athletes, along with Olympic champions and grand slam winners, to compete for Team Americas and Team World in tennis, gymnastics, basketball, ice hockey, parent skating, seaside volleyball, and table tennis.
The project of the Games, founded by using longtime sports activities govt Jerry Solomon, become to create a platform to have fun and elevate women athletes. The Aurora Games might be held every year and has already committed to going back to Albany for 2021 and 2023.
At a time when girls in sports activities are preventing for equitable pay on the soccer pitch, an quit to sexual attack in gymnastics and more professional leagues in ice hockey, the Aurora Games set out to set up a brand new bar for the manufacturing of ladies’ sports. Whether it succeeded is an open query.
The maximum urgent subjects in women’s sports activities these days have been pay equity, growing expert surroundings and visibility. It might be tough for the Aurora Games to efficaciously be a modern women’s sporting occasion without the taking part athletes being compensated as it should be.
Team Americas ice hockey instruct and Aurora Games advisory board member Digit Murphy advised the Guardian that ice hockey contracts were set at $2,500 and included travel, food, resorts, and different expenses.
“They labored for four to five days and that they got compensated handsomely. All their fees are paid, all the payments are paid … we felt that it became a great range. We felt love it was more than they’re getting paid for a month of the season, for a weekend.”
Many of the players taking part within the Aurora Games performed within the now-defunct Canadian Women’s Hockey League or the National Women’s Hockey League. In the 2018-19 season, ladies’ seasoned hockey salaries in North America ranged from $2,000 to $10,000 greenbacks for a seven-month season.
Murphy cited she turned into asked to hold her device price range under $10,000, however, did no longer understand precisely how an awful lot become spent at the ice hockey activities. Requests made for the info of the athlete contracts, together with reimbursement, were no longer supplied on the time of book.
Women athletes largely agree pay equity is a manner in place of a concrete destination. En route to larger salaries, women also are combating for paintings conditions suitable for global magnificence athletes.
“My first metric is athletes. If the athletes say to me, ‘Hey, thanks for doing this, however that is a silly concept. No one’s ever gonna play this once more.’ That’s no longer a great metric. The remarks from the athletes so far have been exactly the alternative. That they’ve been simply appreciative … they’ve been speaking approximately how remarkable of an idea it’s far, how critical it’s far how, how happy they’re, to be a part of it to be a part of the primary one this is in reality meaningful.”
Athletes have expressed the identical sentiment.
“It’s been fantastic and the whole lot round it’s been excellent,” said Swedish ice hockey player Rebecca Stenberg stated. “It’s the primary of its type, so [we’ll] see how it is going. I wish there’s gonna be plenty more of those occasions and I hope that humans see women’s sports in every other attitude.”
American parent skater Mirai Nagasu added, “Growing up, I became informed ‘I can’t do that because I’m a girl.’ I must keep on with Barbies and dolls and that’s not continually the case. I favored bugs and throwing myself and taking without a doubt tough falls. Skating is a little like parkour with loads greater glitter … we positioned sun shades on how tough we paintings. We make it look smooth, that’s our activity. But it’s honestly cool to be a part of something targeted on women and ladies.”
However, there have been a few matters that had been no longer in step with developing a pleasant athlete experience. For starters, the gadget for the primary several activities, maximum drastically gymnastics, and basketball, had been damp from the condensation the arena ice created.