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Sunshine Beach Lifesaver Says Sport 'Sexist' - SLSQ Responds

Surf Life Saving Queensland has thanked a female ironwoman who accused it of 'sexism' after taking part in the junior state championships on the Gold Coast.

Sunshine Beach Lifesaver Ella Gooderham launched an online petition calling for 'equality'.  She claims there was a lack of recognition for girls who competed in the Under 15 Ironwoman final in the Queensland Youth Surf Life Saving Championships last weekend.

Ella's sister Lily was one of the finalists in the U15 Ironwoman event and there was a 'lack of equality' shown.

In her petition, Ella said "With 16 females competing in the final, they were called to the line as a group and set off for their race".

"Following this, 16 males were called for their race individually with their names over the loud speaker, were filmed with professional cameras and were displayed on social media.

"Personally, my sister and her friends competed in the Ironwoman final and asked parents and others around them why they didn't receive such recognition for their achievements in qualifying for a state final."

She also said it was sad that this had happened the weekend after International Women's Day.

More than 700 people have signed the petition since Ella launched it earlier this week.

Surf Life Saving has responded in a statement saying, "as one of our pinnacle events, the Queensland Youth Surf Life Saving Championships saw more than 1,600 nippers from across the state line up across three wonderful days of racing".

"We appreciate any and all feedback, and we thank Ella for bringing this to our attention.

"While we attempt to highlight all events, we do unfortunately have to alter commentary of our Youth Championships between multiple competition areas with events occurring concurrently, and in very quick succession.

"This year saw a number of changes to our Youth Championships, with positive feedback received. As always, we are committed to delivering a world-class sporting carnival for our nippers and junior lifesavers, and we look forward to working with all members moving forward to help continuously improve on the running and success of our pinnacle youth event" it read.

The statement concluded, "once again, we thank Ella for her valuable feedback, which will be implemented in the future to ensure all of our events receive the recognition they deserve".

By Michelle Price 

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