Last night’s inaugural #BeAGameChanger event from the Women’s Sport Trust proved to be an extraordinary success when over 350 attendees from the worlds of sport, media and business gathered to hear the four England women’s captains Steph Houghton (football), Pamela Cookey (netball), Charlotte Edwards (cricket) and Katy McLean (rugby) on a panel together for the first time.
The evening event, which took place in Shoreditch, London and was sponsored by Microsoft, saw high level business leaders mingling with elite sports people including Olympians Anna Watkins, Lizzie Yarnold, Jenny Jones and Louise Hazel, along with representatives from a variety of teams, sporting bodies and associations including Sport England, UK Sport, ukactive and The British Athletes’ Commission.
Hosted by broadcaster Alice Arnold, the audience also heard from high profile attendees including Judy Murray and Sophie Christiansen. For many in the room, however, the highlight of the evening was a rousing speech from broadcaster Clare Balding, who united the audience as she quoted journalist and writer, Nora Ephron: “Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”
Clare called for everyone in the room to play their part to bring parity for women’s sport in terms of media coverage and sponsorship.
Harnessing the passion and enthusiasm in the packed room, Jo Bostock, co-founder of the WST said: “We believe that change is intensely personal. It comes from enough determined people deciding that they want things to be different. Those people were in the room tonight and they are going to start a revolution in women’s sport.”
Along with their sponsorship of the event itself, Microsoft took the opportunity to announce that they will be title sponsor of the Women’s Sport Trust’s #BeAGamechanger Awards for the next three years.