Women's sports include amateur and professional competitions in virtually all sports. Female participation in sports rose dramatically in the twentieth century, especially in the last quarter, reflecting changes in modern societies that emphasized gender parity. Although the level of participation and performance still varies greatly by country and by sport, women's sports have broad acceptance throughout the world, and in a few instances, such as tennis and figure skating, rival or exceed their male counterparts in popularity.
Few women competed in sports until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as social changes in Europe and North America favored increased female participation in society as equals with men. Although women were permitted to participate in many sports, relatively few showed interest, and there was often disapproval of those who did. The modern Olympics had female competitors from 1900 onward, though women at first participated in considerably fewer events than men. Concern over the physical strength and stamina of women led to the discouragement of female participation in more physically intensive sports, and in some cases led to less physically demanding female versions of male sports. Thus netball was developed out of basketball and softball out of baseball.
Netball has grassroots support and plays an important part in the life of women on the islands. There are over 15 netball clubs and the game is played at schools. The game is played at national festivals like the Manea Games. The game is also being played by men. There have been several people have been important in terms of helping to develop the game in the Cook Islands and to raise the profile of the country internationally.
The National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) is an organization formed in 1983 to promote women's intercollegiate golf. The vision of NGCA since its inception has been "to encourage the playing of intercollegiate golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition".
Cri-Zelda Brits, also written Crizelda Brits and Cri-zelda Brits (born 20 November 1983) is an international cricketer. A right-handed batsman and right-arm medium-fast bowler, Brits was originally called up to the South Africa national women's cricket team as an opening bowler in 2002. She developed into an all-rounder, and since 2005 has established herself as a specialist batsman. She captained South Africa in 23 matches in 2007 and 2008, but was replaced as captain in 2009 in order to "concentrate entirely on her own performance." She was reappointed as captain for the 2010 ICC Women's World Twenty20.
She is one of South Africa women's most prolific batsmen; she is the only South African woman to have scored a half-century in a Twenty20 International, and one of only four women to have scored a century for South Africa in a One Day International (ODI). Brits' 1097 ODI runs are second only to Daleen Terblanche, though Brits has a superior batting average. She is the leading South African run-scorer in Twenty20 Internationals with 152 runs.