Women in Sport has partnered with 20 organisations to help break down the barriers faced by women and girls who want to get physically active. As part of its Time Together campaign, Women in Sport has teamed up with the likes of England Netball, RFU, British Cycling and Swim England to offer accessible ways to try out new activities in supportive environments.
The campaign, which is centred around the theme of belonging, is also being supported by ITV This Morning doctor Zoe Williams.
The initiative follows research by Women in Sport, which found that 1.3 million girls in the UK, who previously enjoyed sport in primary school, are dropping out of sport during their teenage years. The report shows that the issues preventing women and girls from being physically active include a fear of judgement, combined with the challenges of navigating puberty.
The report also showed, however, that mothers and mother figures can be part of the solution, with 48 per cent of teenage girls saying their mum, aunts and female role models encourage them to be active.
Yet women in midlife are also time poor, often having to prioritise the demands of their careers and family life above their own health needs.
This is where Women in Sport’s new campaign comes in, says Stephanie Hilborne, Women in Sport CEO.
“We know that most teenage girls face real barriers to getting active and into sport,” Hilborne says.
“The cumulative impact of stereotyping from a young age and pressures from social media not least commentary on appearance means many girls feel they don’t belong being active. Many girls tell us they are turning to their mothers all the more. At the same time mothers are missing out as their time is dominated by work demands or caring for relatives as they also cope with menopausal symptoms. So mothers and daughters getting active together is a solution we know can work.
“The number of partners and supporters for this year’s #TimeTogether campaign demonstrates the appetite for change. Through collective action we can break down barriers and give all women and girls the opportunity to find freedom and discover joy in sport and exercise. We know that the momentum is shifting after this Summer’s sport, and we want women and girls to feel sure of their right to be active and free, because after all, they do belong in sport.”
For more information on the campaign, visit www.womeninsport.org/timetogether.