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British Rowing supports women at all levels of its organisation from grassroots, to elite athletes – both disabled and able-bodied – to female members on its board. Their commitment to women’s sport has been rewarded with an increase in female members and participation as well as exceptional results in elite competition.
At grassroots level British Rowing were a key partner of Women’s Sport Week in 2015. Katherine Grainger CBE, Olympic gold medallist, was an ambassador for the week and Chairman, Annamarie Phelps CBE, supported the action group.
Female membership of British Rowing is growing at a faster rate than men’s, and the latest APS data showed an increase in female participation. British Rowing membership is nearing an even split, with 43% female, 57% male.
2015 heralded a new era for university rowing, with the Women’s Boat Race taking place on the Thames on the same day as the men for the first time.
In high performance, British Rowing has a developed a dedicated online community, Women on Water, which highlights performance pathway initiatives and promotes women’s rowing.
As an organisation, British Rowing has had female chairs for 27 years, Dame Di Ellis and currently Annamarie Phelps CBE. A third of the Board is female, half of the Directors’ team is female and 48% of staff are female. Internationally, British Rowing has female representation on FISA’s international commissions.
ENGLAND & WALES CRICKET BOARD
The ECB is promoting women’s cricket more extensively than ever before. Thanks to high profile marketing campaigns, striking imagery and considerable national media coverage, the profile of the sport has never been higher.
The ECB’s partnerships with Sky Sports and BBC Radio ensured that every ball of the 2015 Women’s Ashes was broadcast, including live television coverage of a Women’s Test match for the first time in the history of the game.
Further history will be made this summer, when the inaugural Kia Super League is launched.
At the grassroots, over the last ten years the number of clubs offering women’s cricket has grown from 90 to over 650, alongside the number of female cricket coaches increasing from 556 to over 2750. Such achievements stem from the ECB making strong progress in implementing the 2013-17 Whole Sport Plan, which sees the women’s and girls’ game as an integrated priority for all 39 County Cricket Boards across the country.
The ECB has also committed to promoting diversity in the game through a major new joint initiative with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). So far, the scheme has invested over £310,000 over the last 12 months into local activity, creating new opportunities for women and girls of all abilities to play, with a strong focus on soft ball cricket.
This year England Hockey moved the women’s game forward strategically in the UK, staging the Unibet EuroHockey Championships at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in front of record crowds.
The NGB deliberately placed the women’s finals in the most prestigious final time slot (traditionally given to the men) and as a result a TV audience of 1.5m saw the England women’s team become European Champions. On the back of that success the Hockey Champions Trophy will be live on BT Sport this year, as well as World League semi-finals 2017 and Women’s World Cup in 2018.
The international team provides huge inspiration to all ages with a host of high profile female sporting role models. In 2015 Kate Richardson-Walsh MBE became GB’s most capped female hockey player; Lily Owlsey was FIH Women’s Rising Star of the Year; Karen Brown was FIH Female Coach of the Year and Wendy Russell Sports Coach UK Disability Coach of the year.
Hockey used the successes, profile and role models to drive an engagement programme which has seen a huge rise in girls playing club hockey.
England Hockey has also encouraged 12,000 women back to the game with its highly successful Back to Hockey programme with the support of 300 clubs around the country.