I had the opportunity to attend the launch of the new This Girl Can campaign, and to meet some of the key figures behind the campaign, influential figures in women's sport, and even get the opportunity to do a bit of sparring with fellow Labour MP Bridget Phillipson!
The event was a great success, where I was able to see the new advert that has successfully reached over 13 million views.
#ThisGirlCan is a nationwide campaign, focused on "getting women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability.” Led by Sports England, the project is a culmination of increasing facilities and awareness regarding women in sports in order to close the existing gender gap. 2.8 million women have either been involved or increased their activity due to the campaign which is incredible news.
The report ‘Go where women are’ created by SE, outlines a current understanding of the relationship between women and sport, barriers and triggers to getting women more active. The main finding of this report was that women as currently less engaged with exercise, however a majority of women want to increase their participation.
Whilst empowerment and confidence are unequivocally important, there are additional benefits to this campaign for our nation as a whole. A more active nation equates to a healthier country, which would in return lessen the strain on NHS resources. With the current government continuously delivering financial cuts to our health service, this is more important than ever
I additionally believe that activity can lead to stronger communities. Engaging with team sports or finding a communal exercise space can help to bring people together, not just of all different shapes and sizes, but from alternate backgrounds, ideologies and communities. This in turn will assist in promoting not only physically fit bodies, but stimulate healthy conversation and local spirit.
We need to continue to use positivity and encouragement to drive action through groundbreaking campaigns and research. I strive to continue to promote the welfare of women, not just in closing this gap in activity, but in all gender gaps that exist today.
See the full ‘Go where women are’ report here