June saw the annual Women’s Sport Week take place between the 19th and 25th, a week organised by Women in Sport to celebrate all women in sport, from grass roots to elite level.
The gap between participation in sport and physical activity between genders is outlined in Sport England research here:
Although the gap is closing, the percentages of female participation reported in organised sports sessions, including our own here at Sporting Futures, are deemed successful if they reach 30% female participation, and in reality often report below this figure.
So, how do we make it 50:50? How do we change the attitudes of our young people, of both genders, to make sport as inclusive as possible?
Perception of taking part is huge barrier in female participation. At many of our sessions, the girls present don’t fully engage because of ‘what it looks like’. They might be embarrassed in front of their peers, especially those of the opposite sex, and in certain cultural backgrounds this problem is only escalated.
The main way we try to counteract this is by setting up girls-only sessions which we later integrate into our main sessions. Take a read of what we did in Normanton and Mastin Moor, and how well our girls achieved!
Women’s Sport Week highlights the amazing achievements females make in sport on a daily basis, and we want to continue this celebration all year long, until we reach that 50:50 split or even get it weighted on the girls’ side!