Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign organised a panel discussion in Sheffield this Tuesday, to discuss the widening Enjoyment Gap of exercise facing women in the UK.
This Girl Can put together a networking event at the English Institute of Sport, on Coleridge Road, and invited local sport organisations and leaders. Among the companies invited were community regeneration charity SOAR, Sheffield Wednesday’s Owl Foundation, Sheffield United Community Foundation, and British Cycling.
The event was meant to tackle taboo conversations surrounding women and physical fitness. Specifically why 2.4 million fewer women than men enjoy sport and physical activity.
Kate Dale, Director of Marketing at Sport England, said: “Women deserve to get active as much as men; we want all women to benefit from the physical, mental and social rewards of an active life.”
Some of the research presented from This Girl Can, showed that one-third of women feel that they don’t have enough energy for physical activity. Similar figures were shown representing women that felt they lacked time (31%) or motivation (29%) to be physically active.
The largest percentage (41%) of concerns regarding sport and fitness amongst women is worries about not being fit enough for exercise. Other worries that occupy women’s minds are what other people think when they’re active (32%), showing their body while active (31%), menstruating while active (24%), and wearing tight clothing while active (20%).
More than one in three women across the UK say they have felt judged while exercising.
The consensus from the This Girl Can event was the need to address four action aspects of Sport: four S’s. Activities should be social, self-affirming, suitable, and safe for participants. The event was meant to aid local organisations’ response to the four action areas of sport.
The hope for the results of the panel is to use the determination displayed at the event and build momentum through the city, encouraging more women and girls to participate than in the past.
Kathryn Mudge, Service Manager for Sport, Health & Leisure, said: “The ‘This Girl Can With You’ launch in Sheffield has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the exceptional people involved with This Girl Can in our city. We’ll be working together to build a legacy to help all women and girls from all backgrounds to embrace the joy in getting active, and to do our bit to close the Enjoyment Gap – once and for all.”