By DEBORA RUBI
Two organizations help promote the presence in the men dominated world of sports. One is more committed to aiding journalists, while the other is directed at helping women participate in sports. Both are useful for female sports writers trying to break into a difficult profession.
For direct help and support from other female sportswriters, there is the Association for Women in Sports (http://awsmonline.org/). The association is dedicated to diversifying the predominantly white, male atmosphere of sports media by providing grants and scholarships.
Information on the site describes grants, scholarships, and internships, including information on how and when to apply. The site also provides a networking and mentoring program. On the page are messages to members as well as blogs related to women in the media (such as the issues the NFL has had with Jenn Sterger and Inez Sainz). The blogs range from promoting grants for the page to highlighting problems in the sports media.
The contact section allows for people interested in joining or having questions to call or e-mail the Association. Those interested can apply to be members of the site, members convene at the annual convention, get priority access to jobs, internships, an scholarships, as well as gaining networking opportunities with other members.
The Women in Sports Foundation (http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/Home.aspx) is more interested in keeping women active with exercise and sports. This is important for journalists that may be interested in covering women’s sports.
Also, it is possible to find networking through the program as women in sport and women in sports writing have similar needs. In one of its newest efforts the foundation has joined together with ESPNW, an ESPN site dedicated entirely to women.
The site is more important for keeping updated and finding story ideas rather than getting direct help in writing or finding jobs as the Association for Women in Sports provides.
Either way both are important in appealing to marginalized groups within the institutions they cover. This is very important as many of these people are not being aided through conventional, mainstream institutions.