Speech by the Minister of Sport to the worldwide working group on ladies and sport

Due to New Zealand on your beneficiant hospitality.

I’m sincerely delighted to have the ability to attend as we speak’s occasion which kicks off the official handover of the Worldwide Working Group on Girls and Sport from New Zealand to the UK.

It is nice that the occasion can happen concurrently Birmingham 2022, which – and that is price repeating – has the most important ladies’s sport program within the historical past of the Commonwealth Video games and would be the first time a serious multi-sport. occasion options extra feminine than male medals and I believe it is nice.

I’m completely dedicated to supporting ladies’s sport whenever, pushing for higher participation, employment, enterprise alternatives and visibility within the media. The improbable success of the Leonesse this weekend reveals how far now we have come.

The UK has a stable observe file and a powerful historical past of empowering ladies and women via sport. There may be nonetheless a protracted option to go, however now we have lots to be happy with on this business.

The media profile of girls’s sport continues to develop and up to date analysis reveals that two thirds of UK sports activities followers at the moment comply with some type of ladies’s sport and half have attended an occasion that includes feminine athletes.

Our residence initiatives, reminiscent of This Lady Can, are inspiring tens of millions of girls and women to develop into bodily lively. One thing that’s notably necessary as we get well from the pandemic.

We now have additionally seen a rising viewers for girls’s sport.

Latest analysis revealed by the Girls’s Sport Belief reveals that nationwide ladies’s sport attracted a file UK viewers of practically 33 million in 2021, the principle drivers being The Hundred and the FA Girls’s Tremendous League.

And the management function of some media is essential, together with the BBC, which made the strategic determination to verify lots of these matches had been on BBC One, rush hour. It labored. It proved that there’s a mass viewers for girls’s sport. And that is essential. If the eyeballs are there, then the cash and enterprise alternatives begin flowing. As a substitute of doing it simply because it is the precise factor to do, we can have rising competitors to prepare these occasions and ensure these occasions are on TV as a result of they’re commercially viable and commercially viable.

And a record-breaking 87,000 spectators attended this yr’s UEFA Girls’s Euros ultimate, probably the most watched match in a males’s or ladies’s European Championship. I used to be fortunate sufficient to attend a number of matches together with the ultimate and I can actually say there was a improbable environment. The spectators had been evenly balanced and, importantly, greater than 100,000 youngsters had been spectators in these matches. I do know the entire nation can have been impressed by the Lionesses.

There have additionally been file sponsorship offers with ladies’s sports activities leagues, reminiscent of Barclays’ sponsorship of the Girls’s Tremendous League, England’s premier ladies’s soccer league.

And the UK will host a lot of excessive profile ladies’s sporting occasions this yr, together with the Rugby League World Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup. Plus Birmingham 2022, in fact, which is going down proper now.

We’re working tirelessly to take advantage of these occasions by showcasing ladies’s sport and consequently encouraging extra ladies and women to develop into lively. However we acknowledge that we have to go additional.

The IWG is a superb alternative to construct on this success and never solely share the improbable work we’re doing, but in addition to study from different international locations.

The UK Secretariat’s imaginative and prescient for a “simply and sustainable post-pandemic world through which ladies and women play a full and equitable function” is one thing I’m enthusiastic about.

It’s critical to proceed to try for higher equality and alternative in sport.

We now have labored with our UK Girls’s Sport Working Group, which lots of you have got participated in, to have a look at a number of the challenges and alternatives that exist and I’m actually excited that we proceed to make progress on account of these discussions.

I might additionally prefer to commend the work of the present New Zealand visitors in sharing, selling and supporting inspiring tales of change from world wide.

The event of the world’s first IWG Perception Hub as the house of the world’s finest analysis, insights, case research, information and interactive packages reminiscent of coaching and seminars was additionally groundbreaking.

I consider the IWG generally is a catalyst for girls’s sport as we get well from the influence of the pandemic.

I want to take this chance to thanks for the function you all performed in securing the IWG secretariat for the UK.

It’s completely important to work collectively to share the messages behind the supply of inclusiveness, fairness and collaboration.

I look ahead to persevering with to work with you to make sure that ladies’s sport continues to thrive not solely within the UK however on the worldwide stage as nicely.

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