Funding news

New themed round of Sport England funding to boost women's participation in sport - 13 November 2009

Sport England announced on wednesday a £10 million National Lottery funding round to encourage ‘Active Women’, in a drive to get more women from disadvantaged communities, and women caring for children, playing sport.

The ‘Active Women’ fund is the second of Sport England's competitive themed rounds aimed at addressing some of biggest challenges to grassroots participation. It will help achieve the 2012 Olympic legacy goal of getting a million more people playing regular sport and our focus on building a world leading community sport system.

Sport England is calling on a wide range of community groups and different sectors to make applications, including schools, local councils and national governing bodies.

There are a number of challenges facing women wanting to take part in sport: Time constraints, childcare complications, transport, cost, friends to go with and self confidence can all represent barriers to women’s participation.

Research shows that at present, one in eight women regularly play sport in England. Whilst this has increased significantly since 2005/2006, women's engagement with sport still falls way behind that of their male counterparts, with one in five men active and the gender gap increasing. Sport England figures also show that women from disadvantaged communities play even less sport, with just one in ten participating regularly.

The announcement is being supported by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) and Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis. Lewis, mum of three and Olympic gold medallist, said:

“As a mum, I know how difficult it can be to prioritise yourself and find that personal time to play sport and be active. This campaign will offer women the opportunity to take those first steps towards making a change in their lives