International Women's Day #ChooseToChallenge

By Sported |  8th March 2021

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and at Sported, we’re challenging negative gender stereotypes in sport. 

By working with our network on projects to increase participation of women and girls in community-based sport, we are encouraging more women and girls to get active, and help community groups understand the barriers that women and girls may face that hinders their participation. 

Read about some of our most recent, and past projects, working with our network to increase the participation of girls and women in sport.

Sported Emergency Fund, supported by Barclays

From July – December 2020, we teamed up with Barclays to provide grants to select groups running football activities for young people, especially those working with girls. The grants have not only helped the groups survive through the COVID-19 pandemic, but have also helped ensure that they can continue their work and continue to increase female participation.

The fund was distributed to 24 Sported members to support their football activities, in which 69.6% of the participants were female. 


Girls Unite

Funded by the London Marathon Charitable Trust, we worked with over 30 community groups across London and Surrey, in lower socio-economic areas, to encourage more girls aged 11-18 into sport.

We provided training and volunteer mentor support to help groups improve their knowledge and understanding on how to engage with girls on and off the pitch. Groups were then able to apply for a grant bring their ideas to life and get girls involved in their activities.

We worked in partnership with Women in Sport to develop a women and girls’ curriculum for our whole member network, providing access to six online modules focused on consulting with girls in the community, programming activities to meet their needs and using effective marketing strategies to get them participating!


Engage Her

From 2016 – 2019 , the Engage Her project worked with 28 groups and 6 governing bodies in Northern Ireland to increase the confidence of grassroots sports groups, and increase their capacity to engage more women and girls.

The effects are still being felt today with those involved. They are making positive changes to increase participation of girls and do so through working with Sported volunteers to identify the needs of women and girls in physical activity, having a better understanding of the barriers to participation, and improving their marketing to attract these participants.

Project 51

With 51% of the UK population being female, Project 51, running from 2017 – 2019, worked with 30 groups from across Scotland, the West Midlands and South West to challenge negative gender stereotypes and encourage more women and girls to take part in sport.

Funded through Comic Relief’s Levelling the Field fund and in partnership with Women In Sport, specialist training was given, and our skilled volunteers worked with groups to embed this learning and put together an engagement plan to increase the number of girls participating. The project also looked at the perceptions, beliefs, resilience and confidence of young girls before and after taking part in the project.

The project also saw the recruitment of young influencers, who were participants in the groups, and received training from Women in Sport to encourage their peers to become more active. The young influencers helped their groups organise girls-only events, held consultations at their schools and sports groups, and talked at the Women in Sport conference in London.

Read about one of the young influencers, Sophie



Find out about more about the projects we’re running within our network

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