Story: Gender inequalities

Tennis champion (1st of 2)

Tennis champion

Kate Nunneley, shown in about 1899, was champion among New Zealand women tennis players, winning 13 national singles titles, 10 national doubles titles and nine mixed doubles titles. However, her powerful forehand drive and strong competitiveness were held in check by the clothes of the day. Outfits like this one – although hot and constricting – were an improvement on what had been standard for women. The worst features of corseting (which sometimes resulted in death when taken to extremes) were becoming less common. Skirts were slightly shorter and easier to move in than the tight bustle styles of the 1880s, and sleeves were wider, allowing greater arm mobility.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Making New Zealand Centennial Collection (PAColl-3060)
Reference: MNZ-0947-1/4-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Anne Else, 'Gender inequalities - Sport', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 August 2022)

Story by Anne Else, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 20 Jun 2018