“Half the Road,” a documentary film that highlights the challenges elite female cyclists face as they work to be competitive at the highest level, will be shown at Main Street Landing, 60 Lake Street in Burlington, on Saturday, July 26 at 7pm.
The film runs on the same day when many of the country’s top mountain bike riders will compete in the Catamount Classic Professional Cross-Country Tour (Pro XCT) at Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston. Several of the riders will be on hand to participate in a Q & A during the 90-minute film’s intermission.
The screening is a benefit for Little Bellas, a local non-profit that provides opportunities for girls through mountain bike clinics and mentoring with professional female cyclists.
“We are really excited to bring this film to Burlington especially when focus is turned to pro cycling with the Pro XCT in town,” said Lea Davison, co-founder of Little Bellas and an Olympic mountain biker from Jericho, Vermont, who won last year’s Catamount Classic and the Pro XCT series. “‘Half the Road’ tells the story that is sadly familiar to top female athletes. When it comes to elite-level and pro competition, it’s still in many ways a man’s world. We hope by bringing this film here, Little Bellas can help raise awareness about inequity in sports and push for change.”
The film was directed by Kathryn Bertine, a journalist and pro athlete who chronicles her quest to make the 2012 Olympics in cycling. Along the way she discovered:
Prize money was much lower for women’s events than for men’s events;
There is no base salary or union to protect female cyclists;
Women’s events were rarely linked to major men’s events;
Female racers were treated like second-class citizens by the sport’s governing body.
“As a sports journalist and professional athlete, I knew we had to show the truth about gender equality in sports—which is simply a mirror for gender equality in society. As much as everyone wants to believe that Title IX has leveled the playing field in sports, the reality is there is still a long way to go. The good news is that cyclists and fans are pushing for change, and at the heart of this movement is a raw, pure, uplifting love of sport specific only to the struggle and triumph of female athletes,” Bertine said.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door and may be purchased through the Little Bellas website at www.littlebellas.com/?page_id=1988.