LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – KU Athletics’ video department, also known as Rock Chalk Video, took an extra step to honor women in sports at Saturday’s KU women’s basketball game. The game was a celebration of female athletes and employees in light of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which was on Feb. 1.
The tribute featured an all-female production crew for the game, with women working every position from video production specialist to play-by-play announcer.
“No one ever thinks twice about an all-men crew for a sporting event,” Kayla Manning of Rock Chalk Video said. “So it’s so exciting for us to have all women being able to support women’s sports.”
Not only were women supporting women behind the scenes in the booth, but they were supporting the women playing on the court too.
“We’re not only doing this work ourselves, but we’re highlighting these women athletes,” Molly Whiskur of Rock Chalk Video said. “And they’re inspiring young women who are just starting their sport or maybe wanting to try it out. And so us being able to capture them in doing what they love is awesome.”
Rock Chalk Video has tried to do something similar in the past, but this was the year everything came together. The crew planned for weeks to ensure only women were calling the shots on Saturday.
“The fact that we work hard to get all women in these positions shows you that that’s not being done all the time,” Brenda VanLengen said. “You have to be intentional about it.”
“The importance of participation in sport, or any other curricular activity, and having those opportunities does so much for a person’s confidence and self esteem,” KU women’s head basketball coach Brandon Schneider said.
Giving women the opportunity to work positions at a sporting event played a large part in Rock Chalk Video’s efforts on Saturday.
“Historically you know it’s been a very male-dominated industry,” Whiskur said. “So for us to just step up, prove that we can do this, and work hard, work well together, is just an amazing opportunity.”
“I’ve had more than one experience of coming up to the truck, TV truck, on a day and someone says, ‘I hear we have a female director,’ and they act like they’re shocked that this could actually happen,” Manning said. “So having a day where we’re all women in there supporting each other is fantastic.”
“The first person I think of is Beyoncé,” Kylie Vinson of Rock Chalk Video said. “Who run the world? Girls.”
Having an all-female production isn’t extremely common, but it puts women one step closer to making it the norm.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in creating opportunities for young girls and for women, but the fight’s not over,” Schneider said.