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Generation XX Series Governance | 2.11.17

Women’s Sport: The Conversation is Shifting

Moving from words to action.

Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign is a clear milestone moment in the development of women’s sport in the UK. The multi-faceted campaign aimed to tackle the simple fact that far fewer women in Britain play sport than men.


According to Sport England’s extensive research (built over a nine-month period and manifesting itself in a 600-page summary report), some two million fewer 14 to 40-year-old women participated in sporting activity compared with men, despite the fact that 75% said they wanted to be more active.

Sport England’s research suggested one overriding barrier to participation: the fear of judgement by others is the primary obstacle to women’s participation in sport. This insight provided the basis for a campaign that has gone on to have a transformative effect.

The first TV ad launched in January 2015, supported by an outdoor and print media campaign, and social activity across multiple channels.

Now in the distinct second phase of the campaign, This Girl Can is directly responsible for inspiring over two million women to get active and has some 750,000 women engaged with its social channels.

According to Sport England board member Kate Bosomworth, it’s not just the positive numbers that have been precipitated by This Girl Can. The original campaign won more than 50 international awards, including nine Cannes Lions. According to Bosomworth in the short video above, the campaign has set a new brand marketing trend, almost creating a new language for how to communicate and build a promotional campaign around targeting women.

Kate Bosomworth was speaking at a Leaders Generation XX Series Think Tank event. The Leaders Generation XX Series is designed to provide a year-round platform to discuss and stimulate growth in women’s sport ─ forging better understanding and connections between sport and business to develop the conversation and accelerate the pace of change. This will be done through a series of physical events and regular online content.

Leaders Week New York

21-24 May 2018


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