1 – 7 June 2015 marks the UK’s first ever Women’s Sport Week, as The Government, sport’s National Governing Bodies, Sport England, charity Women in Sport and major broadcasters lead a campaign to celebrate women’s sport at every level, from the elite to the grassroots.
Backed by athletes including Katherine Grainger, Jessica Ennis-Hill, and Victoria Pendleton, and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, Women’s Sport Week is about championing women’s sport by sharing and signposting people towards positive action and involvement. Throughout the week, athletes and sport providers will take to social media to discuss their experiences of women’s sport, Sky Sports and the BBC will devote greater levels of broadcast time to celebrations of women’s sport, and the public will be encouraged to get involved through competitions and discussions about the future of women’s sport.
This summer, some of Britain’s top sportswomen will look to make their mark at events including the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 (21-30 August, London), FIFA Women’s World Cup (6 June – 6 July, Canada); the Women’s Ashes (21 July – 31 August, England); World Rowing Championships (30 August – 6 September, France); and, the Solheim Cup (18 – 20 September, Germany).
On the ground, Sport England will continue to work with the sport sector to drive home the benefits of the groundbreaking This Girl Can campaign, while Women in Sport will raise awareness of the importance of gender diversity in sport’s workforce through the publication of its annual audit of the number of women at Board level in sport’s National Governing Bodies.
Discussing Women’s Sport Week, Minister for Sport & Tourism, Tracey Crouch MP, said:
“Women’s Sport Week is a fantastic opportunity to not only showcase the talents of our amazing female athletes, but also to encourage women across the country to get involved in sport. There should be no barriers for women and girls of any age to play sport which is great in terms of fitness, but also for mental health and well-being. Much has been done to progress women’s sport in recent years, but there is so much more to do which is why we should all be getting behind Women’s Sport Week!”
Sally Hancock, Chair of Women in Sport, said:
“Women’s Sport Week is an amazing opportunity to celebrate women’s sport in all of its guises. From This Girl Can to the Women’s World Cup, 2015 is an incredibly exciting year for women at every level of sport; Women’s Sport Week will act as a real catalyst to building public interest and awareness of the progress that has been made in recent years.”
Sport England Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said:
“This week is a great way to celebrate women of all shapes, sizes and abilities playing sport and being active. Our This Girl Can campaign will be back on screen this week and I am sure that its sassy tone and authentic images of everyday women being active their own way will continue to resonate with women across the country.”
Jessica Ennis-Hill said:
“For me, Women’s Sport Week is about highlighting to all girls and women the benefits of sport. Joining clubs and classes to take part in activity can have one of the most positive outcomes in your life. I met the most amazing friends at my first summer camp and they became friends for life. Taking part in sport is not about being an elite athlete, but about discovering the physical and mental benefits that come with being active. Most people feel amazing after exercise, even if it is challenging at the time, and an overall sense of wellbeing and self-confidence is worth every minute of the effort!”
Katherine Grainger said:
“I’m really looking forward to seeing women’s sport make more headlines during Women’s Sport Week. The last few years have been really exciting for women’s sport and, as an athlete, I know how much of a difference it makes to have the support of a nation behind you. Hopefully Women’s Sport Week can kickstart a brilliant 12 months for women’s sport leading up to the Rio Olympic & Paralympic Games next summer.”
To find out more about Women’s Sport Week, visit the Women in Sport Website.
Keep an eye out on Twitter for #WSW2015.