One very important message we want to convey is that backgammon is for everyone. I’ve certainly seen it at local clubs where I’ve met an incredible variety of people; at national tournaments it’s great to see the same. However, as you move up into the international level you notice the representation of women decreases, and at international team level there’s very little if any. This is obviously undesirable – unlike physical sports there’s no intrinsic reason why we shouldn’t hope for a more balanced scene. Should something be done to redress the balance? Various conversations I had over the summer suggested that there’s quite some enthusiasm to do so. However, any action needs to be carried out in a sensitive way – creating second-class events specifically for women is not the way to go.
A number of ideas were discussed informally and Tim has spoken with the organisers of the WorldWide Trophy, who somewhat surprised us by offering us an extra place for a UK Women’s Team in 2018, competing on a par with everyone else (a privilege which would probably not have been offered to just any third team). The leading women players in the UK were also consulted and were unanimously in favour of this idea, so we have gratefully accepted and will therefore send the first women’s team to Tblisi. The organisation would be similar to the current second team.
Obviously team selection will also be similar to the existing teams, and if you’re interested and want to be considered, do contact firstname.lastname@example.org.