Media Coverage for Women's Sport
Bury is a small town in Greater Manchester, which has no more sporting significance than any other town of its size. It has a cash strapped football team, newly relegated to League Two. It has also produced a few notable sporting personalities – footballer Gary Neville, sprinter Barrie Kelly and Olympic yachtsman Lawrie Smith. So far its sporting success have all been male.
Now Sport England, the body responsible for promoting sport in local communities, has made the town the centre of its ambitious attempt to recruit more women into sport.
Almost £2m of National Lottery funding will used to “rigorously test what works in changing the sporting habits of women and girls” and the lessons learned will be put into practice across the country.
So what activities will the women of Bury be able to take part in? Well, there are plans for school-gate rounders. They can also try their hands at Zumba (Latin dance aerobic workouts), aerobics and pilates. There will be ‘boot camps in parks’ and ‘group runs’.
Come on, mothers going to Zumba classes is not going to solve the bigger problem of why more women are not taking up sport.
Equally, asking busy mothers to fit in a game of rounders just before the school run is probably asking too much.
If we want to increase our number of elite sportswomen, we really need to look at the root of the problem, and that begins at adolescence.
We need to make major sports attractive for girls.
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