Millions of women and girls have been inspired to get active by Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign.
2.8 million 14-40 year old women who recognise the campaign say they’ve done some or more activity as a result, 1.6 million of whom say they’ve actually started exercising.
These are findings from new independent research, carried out by analysts from TNS BRMB, released today on the campaign’s first birthday. The snapshot survey asked a sample of 1000 women in November 2015 about the physical activity they did, their attitudes to exercise and their awareness of the campaign.
The findings come one month after Sport England’s annual survey of the amount of sport and physical activity the nation does, known as the Active People Survey. It found that 148,700 more women were active for at least 30 minutes once a week, every week in the 12 months up to September 2015, compared to the 12 months up to March 2015.
Emma Boggis, Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said: “It’s great to see the impact that the This Girl Can campaign has had on female participation over the last 12 months. Many of our members have been engaging with the programme to encourage more women and girls to take part in their sport or activity and have seen an increase in girls and women doing so.
This is of course, still a work in progress and there is more to do to close the gender participation gap – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take the opportunity on the anniversary of the campaign to recognise the impact and benefit it has made and the importance of continued investment. ”
Jennie Price, Sport England’s chief executive, said:
“I’m very encouraged by these new figures, which back up the Active People results we saw last month. They show This Girl Can is not just being talked about, but is also changing behaviour.
“But the job is far from done. With a gender gap of 1.73 million fewer women playing sport compared to men, we need to keep getting the message out there that women come in all shapes and sizes and levels of ability, and they should all feel able to exercise and play sport.”
The This Girl Can campaign is the first of its kind to feature women of all shapes, sizes and sporting abilities that sweat and jiggle as they exercise. It seeks to tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport by using images that are the complete opposite of the idealised and stylised images of women we often see.
The campaign doesn’t hold back in celebrating women exercising and playing sport. “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox” and “I kick balls, deal with it” are among the hard hitting lines used in the campaign to prompt a change in attitudes and help boost women’s confidence.
Other findings published today include:
• This Girl Can films have been viewed 37 million views on campaign’s YouTube and Facebook channels alone
• 540,000 women and girls have joined the ever growing This Girl Can social media community
• There has been 660,000 tweets using #ThisGirlCan
• The campaign has been talked about on social media every single day since it launched on 12 January 2015 – including Christmas and New Year’s Day.
• The campaign has been talked about in over 110 countries around the world
Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, said:
“Initiatives such as Sport England’s This Girl Can are helping to change behaviour and encourage more women and girls to participate in sport.
“These figures paint a promising picture but we need to build upon this foundation.
“That’s why Government launched a new strategy for sport last month to get more people active and secure a sporting future for us all.”
Later in January, a new partnership with Sport Relief will also be launched, encouraging women to get active whilst raising money for great causes.