Women in Sport work closely with the County Sport Partnership (CSP) Network and a number of individual CSPs across England. In November last year, we teamed up with Sport England to deliver ‘train the trainer’ style workshops to enable CSP staff to share our key insights and advice across local networks.
Women in Sport produced a toolkit, providing slides and accompanying notes to make it easy for CSPs to deliver individual meetings, workshops and larger presentations about how to effectively engage women and girls in programmes.
The toolkit covers the following topics highlighting research findings and application techniques; understanding your audience, marketing and communications, planning your sessions and keeping them coming back.
Women in Sport has already received feedback from a host of CSP Network members and has shared good practice of organisations across the country using our content to transform sport for the benefit of women and girls in their area.
Our latest example comes from Active Devon who used our What Sways Women to Play Sport research to form a delivery model creating a pathway of possibilities, togetherness, support, progression and reflection associated with behavioural change concepts.
Active Devon secured investment to pilot a new project, engaging hairdressers and beauticians to establish activity groups for their staff and clients. Activities were developed in response to consultation with their staff and customers.
Active Devon identified the hairdressers as natural influencers. Together, they used the insight from Women in Sport to market the activity groups to the core values of ‘looking good’ and ‘feeling good.’
Alongside this pilot project, Active Devon also delivered a focussed This Girl Can campaign, in January 2016. They hosted two workshops to coaches, partners, clubs and leisure providers on ‘how to engage women and girls in your sessions.’ This was alongside a Devon wide public facing campaign.
The activity groups with Hairdressers and beautician’s has now launched. The Business owner of one local beauty salon, The Boudoir, Louise Ward said, “I do a lot of exercise myself as is it. I had been wanting to start something like this for a while, so when Active Devon approached me, it seemed like a great opportunity. When I chat to some of my clients, I sense they would love to exercise but feel that they aren’t fit enough, or feel too embarrassed to be part of a group who are fitter than they are.”
Since encouraging her clients and the wider community to come along to the fitness and social hub, Louise has seen positive results.
“We have a variety of people attending and bringing their friends as well. We wanted to create a fun, easy going and social club to promote physical fitness. We are starting with running as it’s a great way to kick-start peoples’ fitness levels and it is easy because all you need to take part is a pair of trainers. In the summer we’ll be introducing other activities such as rounders which will be really fun.”
Active Devon added:
“The Hairdressers and beauticians are natural influencers whether knowingly or not, they build great rapport with their clients and this was a good opportunity to give them the tips and tools to help engage their clients with conversations around physical activity.”
“It’s clear from the evaluation we have undertaken already that we are engaging with underactive and inactive women that wouldn’t normally join a club or attend local gym classes. We are working with the deliverers to start identifying the women that are showing leadership skills within the groups who may move through leadership or coaching qualifications.”
“It has been an exciting pilot project and we have been able to obtain significant information and insight to what helps make this project successful and help women move through the behaviour change pathway.”