closed

Women’s health and fitness most at risk if leisure facilities stay closed

Ongoing closures of gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres are “disproportionately” affecting women, according to Sport England, which warns gender inequalities have been exacerbated by lockdown.

The Government-formed body expressed concern to MPs that the clock is being turned back after women’s sporting participation was boosted by last year’s football, netball and cricket world cups.

Activity levels were at record highs pre lockdown, but “less women than men” have been able to be active as families were placed under pressure by Covid-19.

“We’ve seen an exacerbation of inequalities that existed before lockdown,” said Alison Donnelly, executive director of communications and marketing at Sport England.

The Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee praised Donnelly over the Sport England-backed This Girl Can campaign, which was first developed in 2015 to promote sport and activity among women, and since then has inspired four million women to act.

“In terms of

Read More

How lockdown closed the gender fitness gap among children

Girl exercising - Getty
Girl exercising – Getty

Last April, this paper launched the Girls, Inspired campaign in a bid to close the gender fitness gap after it was found just eight per cent of girls aged between 11 and 18 were doing the recommended daily hour of activity, compared to 16 per cent of boys.

The campaign came about after research showed millions of girls in the UK were falling off a fitness cliff after primary school, with statements like, “I don’t like boys watching me” and “I have my period”, cited as reasons for not wanting to do PE or play sport.  

A little over a year later, and lockdown seems to have reversed this trend, but to the detriment of boys. Sport England is set to release data this week that shows girls are becoming more active than boys during lockdown, something Sport England’s Alison Donnelly says she finds “fascinating”.

“I

Read More