Sports

BGSU athletic director Kingston takes private sector job

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS Bowling Green State University’s athletic director Christopher Kingston is leaving to take a job in the private sector. The university announced this morning that Kingston will leave May 10 to take a job with Learfield Sports, a firm that works with top college sports programs on marketing and multimedia rights. In a letter to the BGSU community, Kingston said he would be a vice president at the company which he has “admired from afar during my professional, collegiate career.” In her letter to faculty and staff, BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey said: “I greatly appreciate the energy and enthusiasm Chris brought to BGSU athletics. Under his guidance, our student athletes found great success in the classroom and on our fields and courts.” Kingston was named athletic director in 2013. He came here from North Carolina State University. In his letter, Kingston writes: “This career change is an opportunity for me to continue serving in the collegiate space and positively impact the resources and opportunities for Student-Athletes, nation-wide. During my time serving as your director of athletics, we have experienced record-setting revenue growth across new and existing mediums, competed at the highest levels and won championships, and most importantly, graduated young men and women at rates that far exceed the national average.” Mazey indicated that plans for filling the post are being finalized. Below is Kingston’s letter to the BGSU community: Dear Falcons: Honor the Past, Create the Future, Make History Now! Those words serve as the motivation for me everyday, to give Bowling Green State University my absolute very best. My time here has come to a close and I am so incredibly pleased with the upward trajectory of this institution. I cannot imagine a more exciting time to be a Falcon. I have made a decision to accept a Vice President position with Learfield Sports, a leadership organization I have admired from afar during my professional, collegiate career. With that, I wanted to reach out to Falcons everywhere with this heartfelt message. Bowling Green State…


Scholar puts feminist spin on issues of sports & fitness

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Scholar Pirkko Markula’s talk Monday at Bowling Green State University on “Women’s Empowerment Through Sport and Exercise: Rhetoric or Reality?” revolved around pole dancing, or pole fitness, as it has come to be called. The exercise, popularized in strip clubs, has become a popular form of fitness training for women. Markula opened her talk with positive comments about the activity by one of her students and testimonials from those who participate in pole workouts. The student reported that it helped build her self-confidence as someone who had “overwhelming dissatisfaction with my own body.” This led Markula, who is a professor at the University of Alberta, to wonder: “Pole fitness may be an avenue by which women can develop and maintain positive body image as a result of an environment that emphasizes body acceptance and the body’s abilities.” Still the exercise, with its emphasis on shaping the woman’s body in a stereotypical form that appeals to men, is problematic. At the conclusion of the lecture, Leda Hayes, a graduate student in American Culture Studies, asked the speaker if the popularity of pole fitness could lessen the stigma on those working in the sex industry. Markula said she, contrary to what some believe, considers the sex industry harmful to women, and she wondered why women would choose the particular form of exercise to do. There are other forms of pole exercise, including one practiced in China, that are not sexualized and provide the same benefits. Pole fitness, like female sports and fitness in general, is fraught with issues about social expectations and norms, about empowerment and submission to social stereotypes. Pole fitness “reflects the multi-meanings of feminism for today’s active women,” she said. In her talk, Markula explored the theoretical responses to sports and fitness. Liberal feminists, she said, advocate for inclusion in sports. “Women are liberated when barriers are lifted.” They advocated for Title IX that opened up participation of women in school sports. They pushed for greater inclusion of women in the Olympics. Nearly…


Tackling Injustice: Sports as an Arena of Social Change will be focus of Women’s History month on campus

This year, Bowling Green State University will celebrate Women’s History Month with the theme “Tackling Injustice: Sports as an Arena of Social Change.” The Women’s Center and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, along with a number of campus departments and organizations, have created a slate of programming that explores the role of athletics — and athletes — in positive social change. Numerous special events throughout the month of March are designed to inspire audiences to recognize and celebrate women who have challenged injustice both on and off “the field.” All events are free and open to the public. The first of the two keynote events is “The Toledo Troopers: An Evening with the Winningest Team in Pro-Football History,” featuring the remarkably diverse team of northwest Ohio women who overcame sexism and skepticism to accumulate the best win-loss record in professional football history, in a time before Title IX. Moderated by Tamara Jarrett, executive director of the Women’s Football Foundation, an all-star panel of Toledo Troopers — Linda Jefferson, Verna Henderson, Olivia Flores, Gloria Jimenez, Terry May, Eunice White and Mitchi Collette — escorted by current BGSU Falcon football players, will share their stories and memories. The event begins at 7 p.m. March 23 in 202B Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The second keynote presentation, on March 28, will explore “Women’s Empowerment Through Sport and Exercise: Rhetoric or Reality?” Dr. Pirkko Markula, a physical education and recreation faculty member at the University of Alberta (Canada) and a scholar specializing in socio-cultural studies of physical activity, will discuss her research on feminist empowerment rhetoric, and what terms such as “empowerment,” “choice” and “liberation” mean for today’s female athletes and physically active women. Her presentation is also the keynote address for annual Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Research Symposium. It begins at 2 p.m. March 28 in 308 Bowen-Thompson Student Union (a photo of Dr. Markula is attached to this email). Also from the University of Alberta, Dr. Jim Denison, another prolific and highly respected sport sociologist, will take part in a Sport…