Research Report: Understanding Women’s Lives – Engaging Women in Sport

Published 2017

“I feel fitter and stronger and happier and more comfortable in my body than ever, none of that is related to my dress size or goal weight but instead the strength I am building in my muscles.” Linda

Mum with son and daughter in running kit

Executive Summary

Our  innovative semi ethnographic qualitative approach to unlock new insight around: women’s lives in modern Britain and what’s important to them, women’s perceptions of sport versus fitness and how we need to re position sport to appeal to women and how to tap into women’s values in order to activate behaviour change towards increased levels of physical activity.

This report summarises the key findings of the research and presents a series of case studies illustrating how sports organisations can apply the research insights to engage women more effectively in sport and physical activity.

Report Contents:

  • A complex value system.
  • Case studies.
  • Putting it into play.

KEY FINDINGS

  • There is a growing energy around sport for women, aligned with significant external investment in growing the women’s sport and physical activity market.
  • Multiple and simultaneously held values drive decision making and prioritisation in women’s lives.
  • Sport in general does not successfully engage with this value system.
  • Holistic health and wellbeing is higher on women’s agendas than ever before.

Every woman’s relationship with physical activity is unique
A woman’s relationship with physical activity and sport is highly complex, based upon a web of personal, social and environmental factors, influences and triggers.

Women hold six core values which influence behaviour
Six core values represent what is important to women in modern life and how they want to spend their time and energy.

  • Looking good.
  • Feeling good.
  • Achieving goals.
  • Developing skills.
  • Nurturing friends and family.
  • Having fun.

These values can be dialled up and down for different women and at different stages in their lives.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • There is an opportunity to reposition sporting offers to engage with women’s value systems.
  • Addressing more than one value maximises your chance of relevance– where sport addresses more than one value through their products and marketing, they are more likely to engage women holistically.
  • Consultation is key – regular monitoring of programmes to ensure they continue to align to the most dominant values will ensure ongoing success.

KEY PARTNERS

In partnership with:

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