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Female Sports Forum Conference inspires women to become Active, Fit & Sporty

Over 100 sports sector staff, volunteers and professionals, from across Northern Ireland, left the Female Sports Forum Leadership Conference in the Park Avenue Hotel today freshly inspired and feeling better equipped to develop female leaders within their sporting organisations and local communities.

Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, the Chair of Youth Sport Trust and Head of Women’s FA, and Maggie Alphonsi MBE, England Rugby World Cup Winner and the face of international women’s rugby headlined the event sharing their own experiences and challenging delegates to be creative in how to increase participation and inspire more women and girls to become leaders in their organisations. Baroness Campbell said

“There is a huge moral issue around protecting young people’s physical and emotional well-being, together the people in this room are the army who can achieve cultural change and I challenge every one of you to step up and be agents for change”

Inspiration was also gained from updates by the 6 partners involved in the Northern Ireland wide Women in Sport project which was funded by the Department for Communities. The workshops left delegates equipped to raise their funding and social media games and begin to tackle issues such as early drop-out rates for girls and gender inequality in sport.

Chairperson of the Female Sports Forum Angela Platt was delighted with the activity “It has been fantastic to hear such an inspiring range of speakers who are all committed to the development of sport and physical activity with the aim of making women and girls #ActiveFitSporty.”

Presentations and networking with representatives from the IFA and IRFU also left attendees excited about the opportunities over the next 12 months, and beyond, for women’s sport as Northern Ireland prepares to host both the UEFA Women’s Under 19 Championships and the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

The themes of the day were underpinned by the Female Sports Forum’s Active Fit and Sporty Strategy which primary aim is to raise the profile of women and girls in sport and physical activity under four key areas below, leading to an increase in female participation rates:

  • Media: Increasing the visibility of female success;
  • Leadership: Driving cultural change to involve more females in leadership roles;
  • Role Models: Inspiring role models who can have a significant impact on participation; and,
  • Research & Evaluation: Providing an evidence base to support extending the reach of sport and physical activity.

By addressing these themes  and hosting events like today the Female Sports Forum and its partner organisations hope to see more women and girls across NI being #ActiveFitSporty.

Editors notes:

For more info contact: Danielle McDowell – [email protected] / 02890 383825.

Pictured above is Jay Colville (Sport NI Vice Chairperson), Maggie Alphonsi MBE, Baroness Sue Campbell and Angela Platt (Female Sports Forum Vice Chairperson).

You can view the Women & Girls – Active, Fit & Sporty Strategy at http://www.nisf.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2017-Active-Fit-Sporty-Strategy.pdf

The partner organisations involved are-the Female Sports Forum, Women in Sport & Physical Activity (WISPA), Ulster University, Sported, Disability Sport NI, and Youth Sport Trust.