Doncaster fighting firm to keep 'cage girls' following 'grid girls' row

The row over the dropping of "grid girls" has sparked a mixed reaction.
The row over the dropping of "grid girls" has sparked a mixed reaction.

A Doncaster cage fighting firm has said that it will keep its popular cage girls following rows over women being dropped from promotional appearances in other sports.

Doncaster-based Caged Steel, which host regular events at The Dome, said that there were no plans to drop walk-on women from its events after Formula One, darts and snooker announced they were ditching 'grid girls' over concerns that the practice was sexist and outdated.

Formula One announced it was ditching 'grid girls' after some critics labelled the women - who stand holding name and number boards in front of drivers - as 'purely decorative.'

Caged Steel, which is hosting the CSFC event at The Dome on March 17, said in a statement on Facebook: "No need to think 'What round it is?' our Cage girls will still be there to tell you.

"In light of recent events regarding walkout girls in the entertainment industry, we’ve felt the need to state that we will proudly include our highly respected ‘cage girls’ within #CS20. They thoroughly enjoy being part of the show, doing an incredible job and adding a great element to the production."

F1 announced last week it was scrapping 'grid girls."

Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations, said: "We feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms."

The decision has produced a mixed response, including from some of the women who have performed the role in the past.

But Williams said that F1 had "entered a new era" and now needed to "focus on further improvements that can be made to keep the sport growing and moving forward".

Part-time 'grid girl' Charlotte Gash had told BBC Radio 5 live that she was "disgusted" with F1's decision.

"It's upsetting that it has given in to the minority to be politically correct," she said.

"I'm one of the lucky ones that I don't rely on this as a main source of income, but there are girls out there who do.

"I know the grid girls are there to look pretty when they're out on the grid but my role was interacting with the crowd and we were there as an advertisement for the sponsors. We love doing it, we don't want it taken away from us."

Former grid girl Caroline Hall said she was saddened by F1's "extreme measures".

Darts and snooker bosses have also said they are scrapping walk-on girls.