Women in Sport welcomes today’s publication of the Government’s new strategy for sport – Sporting Future. Following consultation from across the sport sector including with Women in Sport, the strategy sets out changes to the way sport is led and delivered with significant implications and impact for women and girls.
Ruth Holdaway, Chief Executive of Women in Sport, said:
“Women in Sport is delighted to see that the Government has listened to us in this consultation and has made a clear commitment to a cross-departmental approach to sport. It’s also positive to see Sport England’s remit expanded to address sport for children aged five and up as well as adults.
“Half the population is female and yet 1.73 million fewer women than men play sport each week, meaning women are missing out on the physical, mental health and well-being benefits of sport. We welcome the integration of women and girls throughout the new strategy and will now work to ensure this government commitment is backed up by funding and action to maintain progress.
“The strategy devolves responsibility to a more local level, which is where much of public health spending is determined. Government must therefore make clear that women and girls remain a priority for spending at all levels, including this more devolved focus. A lack of ownership in tackling the gender gap puts at risk action to ensure women and girls needs are addressed. We cannot afford to be complacent if we are to achieve the healthy nation the strategy aspires to.
“We know that gender diversity at the top of organisations makes them more effective. It’s great to see Sporting Future recognising the need to make the sector stronger and more resilient by addressing gender imbalance in the leadership of sport. We are delighted to see our Checklist for Change toolkit recommended as best practice for sport bodies to make changes within their organisation to improve diversity in the leadership of sport. We will continue to support the sector in applying this knowledge in order to sustain change from the boardroom to the field of play.”