Sport England launches £10m fund for women

From Sport England
Sport England has launched a drive to get more women from disadvantaged communities and more women caring for children, playing sport.

Only 1 in 8 women in England play sport regularly (three times a week), according to the Active People survey. Although numbers are increasing, women’s participation still lags behind men’s (1 in 5) and the gap between the genders is widening.

The research also shows that women from disadvantaged communities play even less sport, with just 1 in 10 taking part regularly.

Our new funding programme, Active Women, aims to start changing this. We are seeking bids from projects that directly address the challenges women have to overcome if they want to play more sport. These include time constraints, childcare, transport, cost, friends to go with and self-confidence.

We are calling on commuity groups and sectors to make applications, including those who have not previously considered applying for funding. Schools, local councils and national governing bodies are just some of the organisations behind existing projects which have successfully engaged women.

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Examples include getting mums off the sidelines and back on to the netball court, forming local and social running networks, and offering fun taster sessions in team sports.

The funding programme was launched by Denise Lewis, mother of three and Olympic gold medalist. Denise says: “As a mum, I know how difficult it can be to prioritise yourself and find that personal time to play sport and be active. This campaign will offer women the opportunity to take those first steps towards making a change in their lives.”

Jennie Price, Sport England Chief Executive, said: “We know that women can face particular barriers to taking part in sport, and it is important we invest resources into understanding how best to overturn those. That’s why this themed round is all about encouraging innovative projects and ideas to come forward and help us make sport fun and accessible for women across the country.”

The fund is open to applications now and will close on 3 February 2010

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