Jen Attends Women In Sport Insight Conference
Monday, 2 March, 2015
Last week I attended the Women In Sport’s Insight Series Conference which took place at Twickenham, the home of English Rugby. The one day event was attended by a range of people from councils, sports NGBs, universities etc, all interested in getting more women and girls active.
The day began with an introduction by the Women In Sport CEO, Ruth Holdaway and a representative from Sport London who co-hosted the event. Women In Sport then presented research on role model/influencer relationships and how this can impact design and delivery of local sports programmes. “Influencer” was definitely the word of the day! An influencer is a personal role model, an everyday person that is seen doing what they do on a daily basis. A local, active and outspoken mum would have much greater influence on getting others active in their community than, for example, Jessica Ennis (who is inspiring but unattainable).
Following on from this research there was an interesting panel debate on the role of women in sport, opportunities for women working in sport and the representation of women’s sport in the media. During the lunch break I had opportunity to chat with those at my table and I discovered I was sitting with women from County Sports Partnerships, a university, a college and the Royal Yachting Association. It was interesting to find out about the projects they are involved with, and I was quite jealous of the funding streams that are available to them through Sport England, lottery funding and more. I also got a chance to see the Women’s Rugby world cup up close and couldn’t resist the opportunity for a photo!
The afternoon began with some presentations of local case studies where women and girls have been successfully engaged and retained in sport. Following on from this, Sport England showcased their #thisgirlcan campaign and their key findings from a follow on project called “I Will if you Will”. As we are currently filming a Guernsey #thisgirlcan video, it was exciting to see the development of this programme in the UK.
The day gave me a lot of insight and ideas for getting women and girls more active. In England there are 2 million less women and girls engaged in sport and physical activity than men, and I believe the comparison in Guernsey would be similar. It was an informative and inspiring day, but there is a lot of work ahead for me to put all of this into practical application. Watch this space!
Written by Jenny Murphy, Sports Development Officer at the Guernsey Sports Commission.