Government announces new sports strategy

We are strongly of the belief that sport is one of the most important public arenas that we have in the UK, and internationally.  As such, it is a powerful lever in supporting and delivering social change. The Women’s Sport Trust focuses on the impact of role models, media and funding to help change the cultural landscape that shapes how people experience sport.  In particular we think sport has the ability to raise expectations and challenge stereotypes about what women and girls are capable of – from the playing field through to the boardroom.

Our response to the DCMS consultation essentially focused on the need to bring together sporting bodies,  the private sector, the media and government in delivering a new era for women’s sport.  The ambition is to move towards a more systemic approach that looks to connect activity, decision-making and investment across sectors in order to progress sport.   Here’s a link to our full response.

Specific highlights of our response:

  • Leveraging the relationship between sport and business, sharing the lessons learned in creating a diverse environment and the development of inclusive leadership and coaching.
  • Shifting the attitude towards women’s sport, not just with regards to participation, but also in the eyes of the media and leading global brands. Reframing the business case to demonstrate the role women’s sport can play in the delivery of retail and institutional brands to a broad audience is hugely powerful – see SSE’s FA Cup sponsorship, Kia’s support of cricket, Newton’s support of the women’s boat race and Investec’s association with hockey.
  • Underlining the importance of role models and the media in shaping aspiration – if we can’t read or watch the success of our female athletes how can we expect to create a better landscape for diversity in sport?

The government’s new strategy announced today demonstrates that sport’s decision makers share our belief that sport has the ability to change lives and can positively affect the opportunities and expectations of women and girls.

We welcome their approach to redefining success, and are heartened by the expansion of the age range which underlines how sport can be (and should be) relevant at every stage in our lives.

We’re pleased to have had a voice in the Government’s new strategy on sport, and are excited by the opportunity this represents for the development, participation, funding and future of women’s sport. We look forward to playing an active role in shaping this future success.