Salary issues still persist, says Tolo

Salary issues still persist, says Tolo

Basketball Women's Asia Cup: Aussie seeks support for women in sport

Salary issues still persist, says Tolo

American basketball star Stephen Curry recently signed a whopping $201 million five-year deal with Golden State Warriors. By comparison, one of the highest paid female athletes in the world, Serena Williams earns $27 million a year.

There is a huge gender wage gap that persists in sports and the situation seems unlikely to improve in near future as the female athletes often struggle to get themselves heard.

Although steps are being taken across the world to close the gap, there is still a long way to go before the it becomes a reality. In Australia recently, a landmark deal was made in the Women National Basketball League (WNBL), which ensures Australia’s best female hoopsters receive a minimum wage of $7500 per season.

“In Australia, we are getting better. Things are finally starting to take place. We have got a minimum wage now, we have coverage on Fox Sports. This event (FIBA Women’s Asia Cup) for us is been shown live on Fox Sports back in Australia as well,” Marianna Tolo said on the sidelines of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.

The Australian skipper though pleased with the development, is not shy of pointing out the huge disparity. “There is a massive difference between men and women. We need to encourage more supporters to come in and more sponsors to jump on board. We need support for women sport no matter what sport it is, ” she said.

Tolo added that the amount for the female athletes is not enough to give sports a serious consideration. “No it is not sufficient to make it a career in Australia. Most of the girls will work or study while playing. This is a stepping stone. We did need to start somewhere but it will definitely get better,” the skipper asserted.

Great WNBA experience

Recalling her stint with Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA, Tolo said, “It was a great experience over there. It’s fast and athletic and everyone is so strong. There are so many good teams and players. The talent is really good. I learnt a lot there and I got a bit quicker and bit more athletic in rebounding. In the Australian team, if we can get players competing in different leagues it would give us more experience,” 28-year-old Tolo said.

The towering centre has her hands full as she will depart to join the Abdullah Gul Unversity basketball team in Kayseri, Turkey, after the tournament. “Next season I am going to play in Europe at Kayseri. I’ll be there from October through till May next year and then next year I will go back to the (United) States.”

Australia have already stamped their authority in the Group phase of the tournament  and will take on North Korea in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

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