15 October 2015

Why we’re launching ‘What If…’

We’ve just launched our first ever Crowdfunding campaign to help us challenge the way girls’ media presents sport at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/whatif. Here’s why.


It's tough being a girl

Being a girl growing up isn’t easy. It’s confusing at the best of times; at the worst, it’s downright stressful. Conflicting demands, pressures, changes, situations, all while trying to get on with the day-to-day of living life – is it any wonder that growing up is one of the most chaotic times of our lives?

At the same time, the media that girls consume absolutely bombards them with – quite often contradictory – visions of the life they could, should or would love to be living. Whether it’s models, make-up or men, the message from girls’ media doesn’t always do a lot to help make things easier.

In among all of this, girls are becoming steadily less and less active than boys. It begins at about age 8 and then, by the time they’re 14, just 1 in 10 girls meet the official guidelines for physical activity.

1 in 10.

That’s just 1 in 10 of our sisters, daughters, grand-daughters, nieces, cousins, friends receiving the physical and mental health benefits that being active brings.


Is it any wonder?

Really, though, should we be surprised? After all, isn’t sport practically invisible to girls in their daily lives?

Take a look at the magazines, the adverts and the media that caters to girls: where are the sportswomen? Where are the people they can look up to and think ‘yes, me too’?

It just isn’t this way for boys. For most young boys, sport exists as something exciting, aspirational and – yes – absolutely for them.

It’s time to level the playing field.


What if...

What if we could change what girls see, though?

What if we could work with the media to make sport more visible for girls? What if we could challenge them to change the way they portray sport and turn it into something which sparks an interest in girls right from their earliest days?

We want to lead the challenge and we want to help the media think differently about the role they have to play. It might not be easy, but if we don’t try then how will we ever make a difference for the next generation of girls?


We Need Your Help

This isn’t a challenge we can meet on our own. While we’ll always work across the board to create a fairer sporting culture for women and girls, this is one area that we really need to ask for help from all of our supporters on.

By getting involved in our campaign, you’ll be helping us build a really solid evidence base and the framework for a campaign that lets us confront and challenge the existing status quo around representation of sport in girls’ media. This won’t be a quick task, but we really believe that this could help us make a profound difference to the lives of girls up and down the country.

If we’ve piqued your interest have a look at our crowdfunding page (www.crowdfunder.co.uk/whatif) to find out more about what we’re hoping to achieve and how you can help us get there!