Summer University inauguration

 

Journalist Paloma del Río opened the university week with a speech on sexism in sport

 

The 26th Adeje Summer University was inaugurated at noon today in a ceremony in the Adeje Convent. The Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, praised the continuance of the summer school adding “we are meeting a real need, dealing with subjects that matter to the population as a whole”

The mayor said that educational institutions were there to deal with issues of common interest and this initiative had allowed Adeje to open new academic connections, which had led to the creation of a university campus here in the south of Tenerife, where today a full Tourism degree was now on offer. Third level education is a priority, he said, in particular in a tourism borough where, in the past, young people had left school to work without finishing their education, with the growth of the hotel and holiday sectors, and resultant jobs.

The vice-rector of the University of La Laguna (ULL) Francisco García, said the courses this year would offer “a feast of knowledge” starting next Monday, with 10 courses and 14 workshops in modular and flexible formats to meet the needs of today’s student as well as an international investigative congress. He also referred to the wide range of parallel cultural activities scheduled, with concerts, book launches, live radio programmes, etc. And with over 700 students already signed up, it shows “that those who will attend next week are not just looking for university credits but also reflect a thirst for information and education in many different disciplines”.

The ULL rector, Antonio Martinón, thanked Adeje for helping “the ULL complete one of its missions – the extending of knowledge into our society in general”. He also told those in attendance that tomorrow (Saturday July 21st) they would also be celebrating the graduation of the third Tourism degree class in South Tenerife, in Adeje, and from the next academic year a number of related post-graduate courses would also be on offer here. He made special reference to the Adeje mayor’s commitment to education, “it is a pleasure to see a politician defending such a basic need as education today”.

Women and sport
The Spanish television journalist Paloma del Río delivered the university inaugural address, and introducing her to the audience, Adeje sports councillor Adolfo Alonso said she was “an inspiration for hundreds and hundreds of people who have decided to take up journalism”. Del Río started her talk referring to the two things that had to be eliminated from sports – sexism and the invisibility (of the importance of female athletes). “We are all responsible for the current situation – from communication media to politicians and business leaders”, she said.

Too often, she said, the media forgets that there are women in sport, or talks about them in terms of their marital and maternal status, their figure or physical aspect, their personal lives, their appearance, something that is much rarer when they are discussing male athletes. Women are given ‘cute’ titles, or nicknames, while their male counterparts will often be labelled as superheroes. Del Río said that there were some sports federations now beginning to address the matter, but taking ‘timid steps’ still.

“Journalists continue to treat female sport as a ‘slave’ to male sports”, she argued, where even today you will find the success of a female athlete attributed to her adopting male physical attributes, for instance. “This kind of sexism is unacceptable in the 21st century”, she said”, “and the media are still a long way away from properly recognising the achievements of women in all aspects of life”. If the presence of women in politics or the economy or health circles is minimum, “in sport it is practically invisible” Del Río pointed out.

This is not just a Spanish problem but similar at international level, with the sexualisation of photographing female athletes, concentrating on their looks before their sporting successes. “Sporting journalism is still a man’s world, for male consumers” she stated, though she did notice that women athletes are using social media to work to shift the balance on their own behalf. She also praised the Adeje Summer University for including a course on sports journalism this year,

 

Spain’s top sporting journalist to give summer university inaugural address

 

Paloma del Río Cañadas, one of the best known faces and voices in television sport’s coverage in Spain, will give the Adeje Summer University (UVA) inaugural address on July 20th at 12 noon in the Adeje Convento. The event will be attended by local and University of La Laguna authorities, business and official representatives and is also open to the public. The title of her talk will be (translated) ‘Media coverage of women in sport and their invisibility’.

She studied information sciences at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, and graduated in 1989. Today she is the official coordinator of sponsorship and sporting federations for RTVE, Spain’s national television station. She has also held the position of director of sports programme and chief sports reporter. Her voice is one of the most widely recognised in sports reporting nationally, and she has covered national and international competitions and 14 Olympic Games (Winter and Summer).

Paloma del Río has received numerous awards for her work, and is also a novelist in her own right. She is currently working on a book on the role of women in sport.

As well as delivering the inaugural address the sports presenter will also give a workshop as part of the UVA on (translated) ‘Sports journalism: stories of innovation and learning’, which will be on July 23rd at 12 noon, looking at the evolution of sport’s journalism. Registration for the course is still open, www.uvadeje.es