New women’s sports magazine Slowe seeks to ‘tell the stories we’ve long been missing out on’. We take a look inside issue one.
Fed up of the sport’s world appearing to be dominated by men, founder Ro Jackson started publishing the Across the Net email newsletter in 2017, as a way to actively engage herself and others with women’s sport. Two years later, that’s developed into a hefty print magazine, and it’s clear that those years have been used well. This first issue lives up to its ‘Future’ theme, taking a thoroughly progressive stance on every subject it features.
The mag kicks off with an article called ‘Girl Dreamers’ (above), a long and detailed look at the UK-based ‘organisations making a difference to the future of women’s sport.’ The three highlighted initiatives seek to promote equality and opportunity for women who feel barred from sports for a variety of reasons – age, disability and race are just a few.
What makes Slowe so special is its commitment to tackling all aspects of the women’s sports world. The challenging parts, as outlined in an article called ‘Blood, Sweat & Cramps’ (above), are celebrated as much as the more glamorous aspects of sport. Slowe proves there can be power in vulnerability – Corinne Evans describes how surfing through pregnancy helped her ‘embrace and accept change’, and in the last feature, Natalie Acheampong writes about her experience learning to swim as an adult.
While the magazine has its lighthearted moments, there is a refreshing seriousness in its overall tone; it’s clear that the editorial team really cares. Its presence opens up a much-needed space to discuss the barriers women face in sport, and the mag offers up advice whenever possible. Reading lists, websites, contact information and countless other resources are printed alongside articles, gently proving readers with all they need to get involved if they so choose to.
This successful balance in tone is partially due to the quality of the design. Art director Zeb Jackson has ensured that Slowe’s design is consistently accessible without ever feeling tired or passé. The magazine is large, and a variety of paper has been used throughout in order to showcase the wonderful photography and illustration. I love the spray-painted smudginess of each title page (above). Swap out the content, and it could easily be an art mag.
Issue one features a variety of different sports, but one of my favourite articles is called ‘The Power of Safe Spaces’, a spread on the ‘boy’s club’ nature of skateboarding (above, illustration by Chiara Lanzieri). I also loved a feature called ‘Befriending the Body’, a story about using your body to heal from trauma.
Slowe really leaves no rock left unturned, giving a voice to professionals and amateur sportswomen alike, as well as female artists, journalists and administrators. The word ‘empowering’ is somewhat overused, but it absolutely applies to Slowe, a publication that feels less like a magazine and more like a handbook. If Slowe can keep up this momentum, it will quickly become an invaluable resource to women in sport.
And if that’s not clear enough, when you flip the magazine over, the back page expresses Slowe’s final, simple point: ‘Because women’s sport is just sport.’
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