If I’m being honest, women in sport should not just be a quota on sex or race so that all the boxes are ticked! It damn well should be because we know what we’re doing. I’m so tired of being made a sex target or fodder for dreamt up rumours on who I slept with! So… let me put the record straight…. I’m a journalist and not a fly by night one, I earned my stripes.
I can recall my very first game as a touchline reporter for Supersport International and being the first woman at this broadcaster to do so. I was hellishly nervous, sweaty palms as I held the mic, going over and over my intro and questions and nervously looking around Athlone Stadium thinking to myself that at least I get to beam live from a stadium I’ve seen a lot of growing up, I’m in Cape Town, my home town. It all meant something deeper than just another OB… at least to me.
I now relook the visuals thinking what an ugly purple satin top I had on – but hopefully at the time it was all high fashion, regardless of all the prep I did that day what everyone remembers is the coach paying me a compliment and that is how I, Romy Titus enter the football world. Talk about a BANG! The Twitterazzi went wild while I went beet red!
I laugh about it, but honestly it was probably the last time I did let out a gut wrenching laugh – it really is tough as a woman in a man’s world. “It’s easy they say, I can do it they say… That’s not a job that’s a hobby. You there because you’re a girl! You have a face for TV!” But have you ever stopped to think that the position I’m in as a woman has me on my back foot merely because of gender and If you’re thinking that the ‘girls club’ has my back, let me let out one hell of a cackle… because that club is non-existent. It really is each man for himself in the fickle TV world…
I love what I do! There is no better feeling in the world than knowing I’m in the right place, all obstacles aside. I live for the butterflies, the goals, the rivalry and me going live from literally anywhere in the country into homes relaying a story which people are eager to hear about. This is my drug… And I’m constantly living for my next fix. But there are a few T’s and C’s…
From the minute I exit the tunnel at any football game I don’t set foot in the dug-out. As rumour has it that by the mere fact that I’m female – me stepping inside even with my little pinky toe, could have detrimental effects on the team playing. Lord forbid my monthly friend is over that too could work against the ‘muti’ used on the day by certain teams. So, I tread lightly respecting the game, the people and their choices by fulfilling my duties as the touchline reporter. May I also make mention that women’s restrooms are either 3 flights up and very few stadiums actually have facilities for women on the lower level. I guess no one thought that women would rule the world one day! Guess I have strong kegels as a result! LOL!
Many years on I’ve become immune to being one of the only women in a sea of men on a football pitch. I’ve stopped doubting my ability instead I’ve used the insults hurled at me as fuel to drive my dreams. Football is my boyfriend and this relationship is going to be the together forever kind.