Sweaty Betty Foundation and Greenhouse Sports push for gender parity by 2024

Published on March 10, 2023 by Ben Wyatt
Girls participation Partnerships
Greenhouse Sports is proud to have partnered with the Sweaty Betty Foundation in bringing onboard a pioneering new role at the charity, Girls Participation Lead, to help increase girls’ participation in our sports and understand and tackle the barriers girls face in taking part in sport, bolstered by the news of Sport England announcing ‘This Girl Can With You’ – a call to arms to the sector to break down the barriers that mean women remain less likely to be physically active than men, a campaign that has been publicly supported by two-time Olympic boxing champion, Nicola Adams OBE.

Greenhouse Sports have set goal of increasing overall female participation on our programmes from 38%, with a further target of reaching gender parity by 2024.

Why have we set this target?

There is a wealth of research that shows that when teenage girls participate in sport and physical activity, they experience increased mental and physical wellbeing, have greater self-confidence, and lead happier and healthier lives. Despite this, we know that significantly less girls participate in sport during their teenage years, and this is reflected in the Greenhouse Sports landscape too. We know the importance of inclusive access to sport and physical activity, and this has created a pressing need to either re-engage those girls that have dropped out of sport or inspire and motivate those that have never participated.

How are we going to achieve this?

In order to drive us further towards our goal of gender parity and improve our impact on girls during their teenage years we have partnered with the Sweaty Betty Foundation. This has allowed us to create a specific role focusing on improving Female Participation. Lauren Kay has joined us as Girls Participation Lead and her role is focused on listening to the voice of teenage girls to allow us to adapt our programmes to suit their needs and ultimately to create a toolkit to help improve female participation.

Lauren has been busy kicking off the female participation project working initially with a small group of Greenhouse programmes. Focus groups have been run with female participants and discussions have taken place with those involved in running the programmes to gain insight and better understand the barriers to female participation.

Four overarching themes were identified from our research: Development Opportunities, Social Support, Marketing and Exposure, Cultural and environmental and the next stage will focus on rolling out creative initiatives to help overcome these challenges.