Sport England launches campaign to get more women active

Fitness class‘This Girl Can’, a new national campaign by Sport England has been launched to encourage more women and girls to be regularly active.

Launched at the Transforming Sport conference in October, ‘This Girl Can’ seeks to use humour and attitude to help tackle the fear of judgement that has been noted as a factor in preventing women from taking part in sport.

The campaign will be heavily advertised from January onwards, with a TV, cinema, digital and social media campaign.

Sport England are looking for any women or girls who participate in sport, or anyone involved in running a sports club for women or girls to participate in the campaign and help prove that women can. A toolkit containing information and guidelines will be available shortly – to register interest, just fill in this form.

To find out more about the campaign, visit

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What sporting events should you look out for in 2015?

As 2014 comes to a close, now’s the time for sports clubs to think about what big sporting events 2015 has to offer, and what your club could do to use these events to encourage participation.

RBS 6 Nations

February 6th to March 21st 2015

The 6 Nations will kick off a rugby union filled year in February, with England and Wales will going head to head at the Millennium Stadium on 6th February, Ireland facing Italy and Scotland taking on France.

All eyes will be on the home nations to see how they fare in preparation for the year’s main rugby event – the Rugby World Cup.


29th June to 12th July 2015

Wimbledon preparations

Following Andy Murray’s dramatic quarter final loss to Grigor Dimitrov, this year’s Wimbledon will be an opportunity to regain his crown from reigning champion Novak Djokovic.

The lead up to Wimbledon always sees numbers of people participating in tennis rocket – whether it be through a club or just booking a court, so it’s worth ensuring that nets and posts are in perfect working condition a couple of months in advance.

The Ashes

8th July to 24th August 2015

The bid to regain The Ashes from Australia will take place on English soil this year, following 2013/14’s 5-0 defeat. supply and install cricket surfaces, cages, nets and sight screens – with a variety of options available for clubs and schools alike.

IPC Athletics World Championships

22nd to 31st October 2015

Whilst the International Paralympic Committee’s World Championships will be held in Qatar in October, the marathon events will take place on 26th April at the London Marathon.

The next IPC World Championship is set to take place at London’s Olympic Stadium in 2017, so this event will give a taste of what’s to come for British Paralympic athletics.

Rugby World Cup

18th September to 31st October 2015

The 2015 Rugby World Cup returns to the home of rugby, where 20 nations will compete for the Webb Ellis Cup over 6 weeks. England will face tough competition from their group, with fixtures scheduled against Wales and Australia.

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FA’s Women’s and Girl’s Programme exceeds target in 2014

Girl kicking a footballIt has been revealed that the FA’s Women’s and Girl’s Programme exceeded its project target and helped nearly 21,000 14-25 years olds get into football in 2014.

Launched in October 2013, the FA worked with Sport England, the Premier League and the Football League Trust to provide grassroots football sessions for women and girls.

Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price said: “We know women play less sport than men but most would like to do more. In fact, almost 120,000 women tell us that they want to play football. But the opportunities have to be right for those women to turn ambition into a reality.”

The programme is just one part of the FA’s strategy on growing participation figures for women’s football, in support of its vision to be the 2nd largest team sport after men’s football by 2018.

Kelly Simmons, FA director of national game and women’s football commented on the scheme: “One of our biggest challenges, apart from attracting new players, is retention, so programmes like this which run for long periods of time, will certainly help us tackle that and help women’s football to become the second most-played sport in the country.”

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ukactive shows more will be done to encourage physical activity

Runners legsPhysical inactivity continues to be a hot topic, with a report by not-for-profit health body ukactive showing that public health spending on England’s ‘inactivity epidemic’ will double in the next year.

The ‘Steps to Solving Inactivity‘ report also discusses the findings of a review of physical activity programmes in the country.

The report found that councils have embraced the ‘Everybody Active, Every Day’ challenge, allocating 4% of their public health grant to tackling inactivity in 2014/15, compared with 2013/14’s two percent. More than 70% of councils have raised their budget for physical activity.

The ‘Steps to Solving Inactivity’ report showed that 29% of people in England do less than thirty minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

It concludes that a more robust evaluation of physical activity programmes should be undertaken to ensure that the most effective programmes can be replicated and have a positive impact upon levels of physical activity.

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£5 million lottery funded Get Healthy, Get Active fund opens

Runners at start line

Sport England has announced the availability of £5 million of National Lottery money through its Get Healthy, Get Active Fund. The fund is designed to support groups that are working to get inactive people more physically active through sport – and such groups are now able to bid for their share.

The Get Healthy, Get Active fund aims to work alongside other similar campaigns, such as “Everybody Active, Every Day” and encourages inactive people to participate in sport for 30 minutes at least once a week. The fund is also designed to raise understanding of sports contribution to improving public health and reducing health inequalities.

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FA launches £230m revolution in grass roots facilities

Footballers legsThe Football Association has recently launched ‘a revolution in grass-roots facilities and coaching’, with plans to build trust-run ‘hubs’ filled with 3G pitches on local authority sites in 30 UK cities.

This follows chairman Greg Dyke’s £750,000 Commission into why English football has been struggling. The Commission looked into youth-development issues, and why home grown talent was struggling to get into the first teams in the Premier League.

The Commission has pledged that by 2020, football hubs will be established in 30 cities, by replacing derelict local authority grass pitches with artificial grass pitches.

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Elite sport funding consultation opened by UK Sport

Basketball PlayersUK Sport’s public consultation into its strategy for funding elite performance sports will close on 10th December – so now is the time to get your opinions heard.

The consultation aims to enable UK Sport to hear the feedback of all the people affected by the work that they do; from the people involved in sport, to club partners and the British public. This feedback will help to develop a strategy which will build on the success of UK Sport in the past ten years.

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American football touches down in Wembley

Harrod UK's International NFL American football posts at Wembley Stadium.

Harrod UK’s International NFL American football posts at Wembley Stadium.

With three of the NFL’s American football games taking place at Wembley in the last three months, it’s clear that American football has an increasingly large following in the UK – with spectators lining the streets of London to catch a glimpse of their favourite teams.

The Oakland Raiders took on the Miami Dolphins in late September, with the Atlanta Falcons playing the Detroit Lions on 26th October. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who have committed to playing a game at Wembley each year until 2016, met the Dallas Cowboys on 9th November.

But, did you know that the American football posts used at Wembley are Harrod UK’s International American Football NFL Posts? The posts have been designed to both National Football League and British American Football Association (BAFA) regulations.

Don’t have a pitch or venue quite as large as Wembley? We can still help, as we also supply Harrod UK’s Club American Football Posts, which are suitable for use at school or club level, and approved by the BAFA.

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Government backs Premiership Rugby’s participation programme

Girls playing rugby

Minister for Sport Helen Grant MP last month announced her backing of Premiership Rugby’s new programme, which aims to encourage more women, black and minority ethnic communities to get involved in rugby union.

Premiership Rugby was awarded £600,000 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in September, in a bid to encourage participation and ‘help impart rugby’s ethos of teamwork, discipline, enjoyment, respect and sportsmanship’.

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Nominations for Pride of Sports Awards close soon

Football team coachSport England have this year teamed up with the Daily Mirror to celebrate the local heroes of community sport with the ‘Pride of Sport’ Awards.

Nominations are now open for the awards, which promote grassroots sports and seek to recognise the achievements of those who volunteer their time to bettering community sport in England.

Award categories include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Young Sports Person, Coach/Manager, Volunteer, Local Team, Sporting Charity challenge, Disability Sport Award and Sporting Event.

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