#Sistersport - an Express campaign to celebrate active women
Alicia Blagg. Sophie Carrigill. Leah Evans.
These strong, successful Wakefield athletes flew the flag for our district - and women - in last year’s Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Their incredible achievements, passion and stamina on the world stage cemented their place as role models and showed that nothing is impossible.
But sport is not just for them - it is for everyone. Whatever your gender, age, shape, ability, goal, lifestyle or confidence level, there’s something for all to enjoy and a place for everyone to begin their journey.
The most recent figures from the Active People Survey, carried out on behalf of Sport England, show that the number of women playing sport regularly in England has reached an all-time high of 7.21 million.
Despite this, the difference between the number of men and women playing sport still stands at 1.55 million - and that is something we want to change.
Nationally, around nine per cent more men than women play at least once a week. In Wakefield, that gap widens to 14 per cent.
And nearly 58 per cent of those surveyed said they had not played any sport at all in the previous 28 days, compared to around 46 per cent of men in the district.
The Express, supported by The Ridings Shopping Centre and backed by Kate Hardcastle, ambassador for Women In Sport and founder of Women In Sport Conferences North, is launching #sistersport - a campaign to empower and encourage women in Wakefield to give sport a go and become more active, no matter their skill or ability.
From kickboxing classes, football, rugby and cricket to running, zumba, squash or yoga - the city has plenty to get involved in, in safe, welcoming and friendly environments at a time and place that suits you.
Through #sistersport we want to celebrate women who are active or involved in sport and highlight the incredible work of clubs and organisations supporting every woman to do just that.
Ultimately, we want to encourage and inspire even more females to take part, by building on the ongoing successful work of the national Sport England ‘This Girl Can’ campaign.
Express editor John Kenealy said: “The Express is delighted to launch #sistersport this week to encourage and inspire more women to try out a sport and to highlight the fantastic work being done locally to achieve this.”
During the coming months, we will profile sports, clubs and activities across the district to show you what is involved and how you can join in.
We will share the sporting stories of real women in our district. And we will shine a light on the barriers and stigma women still face when it comes to being active and tackle the issues surrounding female participation in sport.
Sara Hassan, marketing manager at The Ridings said: “2016 was a great year for women in sport and we’d like to see this grow at a local level here in the Wakefield district.
“We pride ourselves on being at the heart of the community and want to support this fantastic campaign which will get lots more women and girls enjoying different sports and achieving success.
“Here at the Ridings we’ve got some exciting sporting events planned, which will help people get active and may even inspire the next generation of Wakefield female athletes.”
Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport at Wakefield Council, which backs This Girl Can, added: “It’s great that The Express is encouraging women and girls to take part in sport and exercise, as there are lots of benefits to being active. It’s a positive way to encourage greater participation.”
Would you like to share your story of how joining in an activity has helped, inspired or improved your life no matter how big or small that change has been?
Would you like to promote your group, club or activity and encourage more women to get involved?
Then let us know firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01924 433013.