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Introducing 'This Girl Can With You'

28th February 2023

We’ll work with more partners than ever before to help cut the enjoyment gap in sport and physical activity

We’ve launched the next phase in our campaign to help and inspire more women and girls to play sport and take part in physical activity.

‘This Girl Can With You’ will see us work with and support more partners than ever before to cut the enjoyment gap and create fun environments that will encourage women to get active.

The Enjoyment Gap

Research has shown that 2.4 million fewer women than men strongly agree they find sport and exercise enjoyable and satisfying and, as enjoyment is one of the biggest motivators for people to take part in sport and physical activity, closing this gap is an important step towards closing the gap in participation levels.

“The exercise enjoyment gap is yet another inequality between women and men,” said Kate Dale, Sport England’s director of marketing.  “It can be too easy to accept things as the way they are; to not challenge the status quo. That’s not what we’re about.

“We exist to get women active – and that means we’re here to shout about the enjoyment gap. Women deserve to get active as much as men; we want all women to benefit from the physical, mental and social rewards of an active life.”

‘This Girl Can With You’ will see us support organisations to develop solutions in response to four action areas.

Activities for women must be:

  • social (help women feel part of a community)
  • suitable (meet women’s needs)
  • self-affirming (help women feel confident)
  • safe (women must feel physically and emotionally safe when taking part).

Our brand-new Campaign Hub has tools, tips and ideas for organisations to get started, with the insight building upon the brilliant work that many grassroots organisations and activity providers are already delivering to close the gap.

Four inspiring groups and organisations working to close the gap also feature in our new films: Black Girls Do Run UK, Goal Diggers FC, Muslim Girls Fence, and Welcome Gym.

Tasha Thompson, the founder of Black Girls Do Run, said it was vital to create positive environments for women to exercise in.   

“I founded Black Girls Do Run to create a space for women like me to come together, because it didn’t exist before,” she said. “We needed a safe and self-affirming space to come together, to feel connected, to feel confident and empowered that running is a space for Black women too.

“But if we didn’t enjoy running together, the group wouldn’t work as well as it does. The best activity to participate in is the one you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you are most likely to stick with it and make it part of your routine. 

“If you can make it social, and meet others to enjoy an activity with you, you will share that joy with a community which is very, very rewarding - and can motivate you to get active on the days you otherwise wouldn’t.”