Research shows that 2.4 million more men than women strongly agree that they enjoy sport and physical activity. That’s 2.4 million women missing out on the opportunity to relieve stress, build connections and improve self-esteem. This is called this the enjoyment gap.
Research shows that the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis have had a disproportionate impact on women. Meaning they have less to spend on weekly budgets and less time to spend on themselves. As a result, their activity levels have fallen and show little sign of recovery.
This Girl Can have launched a new campaign to help close that gap and remove barriers so that just as many women as men, can enjoy physical activity.
Enjoyment is the biggest driver in engaging people in sport and activity, that’s why together, this is a gap we need to close.
Enjoyment doesn’t just mean making activity fun. It means making it enjoyable in all its splendour – including the sweaty, breathless bits! It means not having to worry about intimidation. It means a chance to catch up with friends, with a work-out on the side. It means feeling accepted for who you are. It means no woman left behind.
The new campaign, This Girl Can With You, focuses on supporting sports clubs, activity groups and activity providers to shrink the enjoyment gap by making activities for women social, suitable, and safe.
- Social: Having a support network or feeling part of a bigger community is integral to making activity enjoyable whether you’re exercising alone or with others. Even if it’s a catch up with friends, with a workout on the side.
- Suitable: Ensuring their offering caters to their communities' specific needs. Considering their cultural and practical requirements, as well as ensuring timings are considerate of their competing priorities. You can power up enjoyment by making it feel possible for them.
- Self-Affirming: Creating an environment where members feel confident and comfortable in their own skin regardless of shape, size or ability. Boosting enjoyment by empowering them to show up unapologetically as themselves and find their tribe.
- Safe: Creating spaces where women feel emotionally and physically safe, free from harassment and intimidation. Because when they’re free from worry, they’re free to enjoy activity
In addition to working with activity providers, we want women to tell us what activity they like to do and why they enjoy it, with the aim of encouraging more women to get active by trying something new.
If you would like to share your story, get in touch at email@example.com
Nicky Harverson, Physical Activity Specialist at Active Gloucestershire and lead for This Girl Can in Gloucestershire said: “There are so many reasons why women may not enjoy physical activity as much as men but we want to remove those barriers and support all women to be active.
One key area we want to focus on as an Active Partnership is ensuring that women have a space in our communities to feel safe and accepted when being active. That we are welcomed and encouraged to do it our way.
After all, physical activity is not just good for our physical health, it supports our mental health too.
By supporting the This Girl Can With You campaign, we can help close the enjoyment gap!”
For more information on the campaign, go to www.thisgirlcanwithyou.co.uk or if you are an activity provider, sports club or activity group and would like some support to make your activity more social, suitable, self-affirming and safe, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read the Sport England press release announcing the launch of the national campaign at This Girl Can With You launches | Sport England