This Girl Can - closing the gap for more women to enjoy sport

In 2015 This Girl Can changed the game.

The Sport England funded campaign encouraged, inspired, and empowered 2.9 million phenomenal women to get active in all their sweaty glory. Everyday women with relatable bodies gave judgement the finger and got moving in ways that worked for them.

The campaign continued celebrating women during lockdown, helping them stay active and challenging preconceptions of what getting active looks like - tackling taboos around periods, menopause, motherhood, and disability.

But there’s more to do.

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 research shows 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. To feel just a little more badass.

This is the enjoyment gap.

Enjoyment is the biggest driver in engaging people in sport and activity, that’s why this is a gap we need to close.

This Girl Can has identified four action areas to shrink that enjoyment gap once and for all:

  • 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: Designing your offering to cater to your 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.

No one knows your organisation - your team, your members, your neighbours, your community - better than you. And you can all play a part in closing the enjoyment gap and transforming the lives of women, now and across future generations.

With you, This Girl Can.