Team GB athlete Vicky Williamson launches Sportside’s Gender Play Gap campaign

Sportside, the app matching people to play sports, have officially launched their Gender Play Gap campaign aimed at increasing participation in women’s sport by empowering women with the confidence to speak out and to make change happen.

Evidence gathered by Sport England suggests that pre-Covid19, participation in sport and physical activity has never been higher* and while research undertaken by Savanta ComRes shows almost two thirds of adults consider exercise to be more important than ever during the current Covid-19 crisis. With this in mind, Sportside hopes to encourage women of all ages to use Covid-19 as the catalyst for either getting active or staying active.

Launching the campaign, Team GB bobsleigh athlete, Vicky Williamson said, “Sport should be inclusive, and it should be accessible for everyone. Women across the world want to take part, but there are barriers to their participation.”

A lack of time, caring responsibilities, a lack of self-confidence and a shortage of facilities are amongst the reasons given by most women who don’t participate in sport, but financial disparities are a huge driver too.

Vicky agreed, “It’s hardly surprising that participation in women’s sport is lower than men’s sport”, she said. “You just need to look at the salary difference between the top men and the top women to scratch the surface of why women are less inclined to pursue a career in sport.”

Sportside places a huge emphasis on engaging with women athletes, and with Covid-19 highlighting the deeply engrained disparity between men and women’s sport, it provides a real opportunity to re-calibrate the way women’s sport is viewed.

Hermione Way, Sportside’s Chief Marketing Officer said, “At Sportside we are a community built on our love of sport, and sport is at its best when it’s inclusive regardless of age, gender or background. That’s why we are delighted to be launching our Gender Play Gap campaign placing an emphasis on the importance of physical activity, particularly amongst women.

“Under participation in sport amongst women is a long running problem, and improvements have been made in recent years”, she continued. “But Covid-19 has the potential to destroy the progress we have made, and we can’t let that happen.”

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