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Why women shunned outdoor sport

THE headline on your report on a project to discover why few younger women engage in outdoor pursuits asks “Where are all the women?” (The Herald, February 10). Perhaps my own experience provides a hint.

Back in the 1980s when running became popular, our group of friends used to meet and look after each other’s children while we went running in and around our rural village. Some of us hoped to complete a 10k fun run while a few of us managed a marathon. We had to overcome Scottish weather and lack of fitness. But the most unpleasant obstacle was provided by the behaviour of many men who saw us. The jeering, personal comments and gestures from car windows were a frequent and intimidating feature of most long runs. One friend who went out alone was followed slowly by car down a quiet road while the men inside shouted after her. She did not go out again.

We might hope that today’s young women would have a better experience, but sadly I am sure we were not alone. It would not be surprising if the message were passed down to daughters and granddaughters that outdoor pursuits were neither safe nor enjoyable for women.

Rev Catherine Collins, Dundee DD5.

Destination unclear

THE other day I travelled to the Far East, in fact Falkirk, from Queen Street Station. I appreciate its modernisation is considerably over budget and its finishing date well buried. At least Calmac is not in this equation. The very new destination board, a rather bleak thing, is extremely high and obviously looking for passengers who are still on the south pavement of George Square.

Within the tight and now even-tinier concourse remaining those best able to see it in the round are the pigeons who flap their wings. If it was planned at all, answers on a postcard, it was not to suit travellers in comfort or ease of vision. I am over six feet tall but cannot avoid the new plague of sore necks and angled spectacles. Humans of 10ft and over are required and I shall take more porridge.

By contrast the long-established Central Station destination board, and its easy colourings for vision, is a delight for all in the large and splendid concourse. However, I may be wrong and indeed the average height of train travellers on the north side of the Clyde may be 10ft, and those on the south side may be normal.

Graeme Smith, Glasgow G77.

Too many voices

I SUPPORT fully Steve Barnet’s letter (February 10) regarding the “inane rubbish” uttered by commentators. I have some protection from this in that my mind seems to tune out their utterings, while I concentrate on the much more relevant action taking place on-screen. (I’m told I can’t do multi-tasking.)

A good start to solving the problem might be to cull the commentators – why do we need three people in the commentary box?

Colin C MacKean, Kilmacolm.

Prevent the potholes

RATHER than highlighting potholes as Robert Morrison suggests (Letters, February 8) would it not be better to put some effort into sealing cracks before they become potholes? In Vancouver, which has a not dissimilar climate to ours, there is a considerable effort in the summer to seal cracks in the roads. I’ve rarely seen it done here but I see masses of cracks opening up, even in roads recently resurfaced, which are then rapidly deteriorating.

Sandy Caldwell, East Kilbride.

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