Every person who has been assigned female at birth or identifies as female, anywhere in the world, has experienced being told what they can do and what they cannot do. This comes from all directions – from family members, friends, peers at school, and sometimes, even from strangers. As they grow, this conditioning about limitations and possibilities gets stronger and starts affecting their actions in life. Narelle Gosstray has always rejected these messages. An Australian baseball champion, her personal career broke these societal barriers, and today as a mentor to young women, she continues to apply this personal determination in her approach.
RJ Shruti Sharada caught up with Narelle on a hot summer afternoon at the Radio Active studio to discuss women in sports, be it in Australia, India, or Indonesia, about Narelle’s work that involves a sort of sports-based cultural exchange between young sports-persons from Australia and another country, and how the lessons learned on the field help break down gender-based barriers off the field.
Narelle is part of Baseball Australia and is the founder of Diamonds in the Rough, which is focused on breaking through gender-based prejudices and inspiring confidence in young women through what may be atypical sports in a few countries, like baseball. For the Australian sports-persons involved, too, it is an experience of conditions often very different from what they are used to.
In this episode, we also speak about Narelle’s association with No More, a collective that works to end domestic violence, and the recent case of disturbing online trolling that Australian rules footballer Tayla Harris had to endure after a photo of her on the field went viral.
Sexism and gender-based violence are concerns that sports organisations and teams across the world need to urgently acknowledge, speak out against, and ensure strict punishments for. For a women’s sports advocate like Narelle, it is always about working from a place of hope for a better world, for better opportunities.
Listen in for more!
Written by Shruti Sharada.