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Turning insight into action

Earlier this month, we hosted our annual Insight Series events: bringing our research to local sport delivery audiences in Manchester and London. Both days were jam-packed full of great content, with presentations on putting insight into action, fantastic local case studies, our (as yet unpublished) research into the decline in female participation during the winter months, and panel discussions with the likes of boxing champion Stacey Copeland, Holly Lam-Moores Olympic Handball player, former England netball captain Pamela Cookey and Team GB paralympic rower Naomi Riches. Our Sport Partnership Managers Jennie and Heather reflect back on the events:

Heather Smith

This year we held an Insight Series event in Manchester for the first time, where it was great to be able to take the event to a new area and work with a new County Sports Partnership (CSP). GreaterSport partnered with us to deliver the event and were brilliant, securing us some excellent panel speakers and sharing some of the excellent work they are doing with coach mentoring. When we had a last minute question mark over the brilliant Stacey Copeland being able to attend the event, they were able to offer two Olympic athletes they just happened to have as part of the GreaterSport team!

Highlights of the Manchester event for me were; Stacey Copeland on the panel reminding us that although things are moving in the right direction it is still more acceptable for a young girl to want to be a mermaid than a boxer; hearing about the latest Women in Sport insight into seasonal drop-off rates, – it will be great to see how partners put that insight into action and keep women active over the winter months – and finally I loved the opportunity to meet more amazing people working in both their personal and professional lives to transform sport for the benefit of women and girls. Having attended these events previously as a delegate, I have always loved how inclusive and supportive they feel and 2016 was no different!

Jennie Platt

Women in Sport have hosted the Insight Series in partnership with London Sport since 2014. Over that time, as organisations we have grown together and developed our understanding of women and girls nationally and locally. This has allowed the events to continuously showcase relevant and inspiring insights, thus providing a great experience for our partners attending from across the sector.

Our London delegates were treated to a packed day of presentations and tasks on 5th February. Like their Manchester counterparts, those attending were the first to hear about our new insights into ‘seasonal drop-off’ and partners were challenged to help share and put insight into action for the benefit of women and girls.London Sport provided a comprehensive update of their strategic direction, both generally and with a focus on women and girls, and shared new insights into understanding their audience across the capital.

The highlight of the day came in the afternoon with two local case studies – Goals4Girls (@Goals4girlsuk) and King Alfred’s Academy (@KASGirlsCan). Both projects are a fantastic example of how local partners have used insights and applied them to make sport a more viable option for young girls. Some of the young girls involved in the projects helped present and stole the show – they spoke intelligently and passionately about their experience and are real ambassadors for our values and work. For Women in Sport and most partners in the room, we can often feel quite separated from participants, from what is happening on the ground, but these girls were a great reminder to us all of why we do what we do every day – they inspired me to continue championing for change and to allow all women and girls amazing and lifelong opportunities in sport.

This is my third year being involved in Women in Sport’s Insight Series and once again it has been a joy to work on. At Women in Sport, we are committed to sharing our learning across all channels and will continue to make content relevant and actionable.

There was an amazing buzz at both events, thanks to all our speakers, contributors, partners, and of course the delegates for really getting involved. You can see some of the great comments, support and key themes by looking back on the day via the #InsightSeries on Twitter.