8 March

These Girls Do

 

At Local Tennis Leagues we have been celebrating International Women's Day. But how well is tennis and sport in generalto encourage more wome to get involved in sport?

Almost twice as many men as women take part in sport, according to Sport England. Men are also more like to volunteer in sport, to be paid more and they are over-represented in senior leadership roles in the sector. Reporting of men's sport dominates the media and even boys (20%) are more likely to be active every day than girls (14%) But it is not all bad news and a lot is happening to change the landscape. In celebration of International Women's Day today, here are ten top reasons These Girls Can - and Do!

 

Park Run1.

43% of parkrunners are women, according to Women in Sport but they are also more likely to describe themselves as ‘reluctant runners’.  To encourage them, and people from lower socio-economic groups to get out their trainers, Sport England is investing £3m over 3 years in parkrun  

Miss Hits2.

Judy Murray’s Miss-Hits programme is specifically designed to make tennis fun for 5-8 year old girls.  At present, at this level, they are outnumbered 4:1 by boys. Part of the She Rallies initiative, Miss Hits also aims to get more women involved in coaching 

Victoria Chubb3.

Though tennis is a game where men and women can compete equally at an amateur level, there are now 11 womens-only Local Tennis Leagues up and running or in development. They were inspired by Victoria Chubb (see this week’s Meet the Player) who wanted one in Norwich! 

4.

Women are dramatically under-represented in leadership roles in sport, though it's gradually changing up, from 20% to 30% between 2009 and 2016. To redress the balance, the government requires all publicly funded sports governing bodies to have at least 30% of either gender on the board. The LTA has exceeded this: 5 of its 12 board members (41%) are women

I Will If You Will5.

Following the success of its This Girl Can campaign (which got 2.8m women active) Sport England is investing £2.3m in its I Will If You Will programme  to overcome the practical and emotional barriers that stop women taking part in sport. It is being piloted in Bury

6.

Three of the four full time (and one part time) staff at Local Tennis leagues are female as is its co-founder/director

7.

There are training skills and match play sessions for women of all standards in the LTA’s Tennis Tuesdays programme

8.

The FA wants to double the number of players and fans in the women’s game by 2020 and is on track to do so. There are now 6,767 affiliated female teams, up from 6,000 in 2016-17

Back to Netball9.

130,000 women have taken up netball since England Netball’s gold at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 and since 2008, 60,000 woman have taken part in England Netball's Back to Netball sessions  

10.

Two million girls have taken part in the cricket programmes run by the charity Chance to Shine. "It's helping normalise cricket for girls," says ex-England captain, Charlotte Edwards. And for those wanting to take their involvement in the sport further, today, the ECB launched a competition fronted by current England captain Heather Knight which will give eleven girls from across the country the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the team for a training session ahead of the Ashes this summer