Teen golfers push P.E.I. to allow girls to play 18 holes, just like boys
Province to review inequities in sport
A review is underway in P.E.I. after two teen girls questioned why boys get to play twice as many holes in school golf tournaments.
When sisters Brayah and Lexie MacDonald joined Montague Intermediate's school golf team last year, they discovered that girls play nine holes instead of 18.
The two sisters said that ability, not gender, should determine how many holes a student plays.
“Why is it not fair and equal for everyone?” Brayah said.
On Oct. 22, the province responded to the girls’ concerns, announcing it would review school sports to ensure gender equity.
Sisters Brayah and Lexie MacDonald said they were shocked when they found out girls only played nine holes in school golf tournaments, since they’ve always played 18. (Image credit: Steve Bruce/CBC)
Why do girls play half the holes?
According to the P.E.I. School Athletic Association (PEISAA), intermediate and high school girls have been playing only nine holes since golf became a school sport two decades ago.
However, they weren’t sure why the decision to have girls play half the holes was made back in 2002.
Phil Bridges, the association's school sport co-ordinator, said they had never heard any concerns over the gender difference until last year.
Brayah, who’s in Grade 8, has her own theory for why girls were only allowed to play nine holes.
“I'd say they think that girls can't play 18 because it's too much for them, and that they're not necessarily good enough,” she said, “but that's not the case.”
Province will review inequity in sport
One day after Brayah and Lexie spoke out against the issue, P.E.I.’s ministry of education committed to a review of school sports to make sure that opportunities were equal for both genders.
The ministry did not give a specific timeline.
”A review of our school sports, in consultation with member schools and student athletes, will ensure policies that welcome and support all athletes,” said minister of education Brad Trivers.
Natalie Jameson, P.E.I.'s minister responsible for the status of women, praised the sisters for speaking out.
“Ensuring equitable opportunities for young women in all levels of sport, and in all areas of life, is important,” said Jameson.
With files from CBC News and Steve Bruce/CBC
TOP PHOTO CREDIT: (Steve Bruce/CBC)