Back in 2014 when This Girl Can was launched for the first time by Sport England, the difference in the number of men and women being active across England was an eye-watering 1.8 million.
In the same year, London Sport was formed and, as part of our mission to make the capital the world’s most active city, we have worked closely with the This Girl Can campaign since our inception.
Both This Girl Can and London Sport have come a long way in the intervening four years and promisingly the national gender gap in participation levels is now below 500,000.
Now, with This Girl Can back for its third campaign wave, we’re taking a look back at some of the highlights of London Sport’s work alongside Sport England‘s campaign to support more women and girls find their path towards a more physically active life.
2015 – This Girl Can in London
Backed by Sport England, London Sport brought together a community of clubs and deliverers of sport with experts in physical activity for women and girls to help more groups across the capital build on the inspiration of This Girl Can.
The event’s legacy lived on with a range of supported initiatives, helping more groups to adapt existing activities to meet the needs of women and girls across the capital.
March 2016 – Girls Move London
In March 2016, we celebrated women’s sport in London with Girls Move London – an inspirational film and online activity finder designed to help more women and girls become physically active in London.
The activity platform was one of our first public forays into open data, a movement which has subsequently spawned our Get Active website which uses Open Sessions data to help people find the sporting activity they’re after in their area.
September 2016 – Dare to Try
Funded by Satellite Clubs and using Women In Sport research, we worked in partnership with UCL to establish five different sessions for female students over a week for eight weeks.
The programme, inspired by This Girl Can, asked the participants to identify their motivation for attending by wearing coloured wristbands. Coaches adapted the sessions to match the motivations and make the experience more personalised.
Spring 2017 – Women in Sport Clubworks Pilot
London Sport and Women in Sport partnered to create a six-month bespoke programme of support for clubworks clubs, designed to help clubs engage women more effectively and provide positive experiences. Read our impact report here.
Summer 2017 – This Girl Can project
During 2017, London Sport focused on bringing physical activity to women who were finding it difficult to get active but needed all the positive effects that come with leading physically active lives.
We supported ten organisations who worked with women to provide physical activity through their own services across eight weeks with a view to making the activity self-sustaining.
From this work, we developed and shared a coaching toolkit which was accessed by more than 50 organisations. To read about our key learnings from this project click here.
May 2018 – Female Mentor programme
Earlier this year, London Sport partnered with Women in Sport to train a cluster of female mentors who were deployed across London.
They worked with community groups and helped them over three months with developing their opportunities to better engage with the women in their community.
…And then there’s the London Sport Awards
With more and more women and girls being physically active, it’s no surprise that plenty of truly inspirational women have been recognised at the London Sport Awards.
The incredible Charlotte Evans, of Sole 2 Soul, lifted the Coach of the Year Award in 2017 and earlier this year the Muslimah Sports Association picked up the Workforce Award trophy.
There was also 2018 success, on International Women’s Day, for the Latin American Multicultural Group and their “LA LIGA” Female Recreational Football League in the London Together Award.
Do you know a project or individual who has demonstrated their commitment to breaking down barriers for female participation? Nominate them for a 2019 London Sport Award.
Such inspiring role models are just a tiny glimpse into the amazing work being done throughout the capital and we are excited to see further changes in This Girl Can phase three.
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