Morning, Wednesday, 6th December 2023
This conference will examine next steps for encouraging the development and growth of women’s grassroots and elite sports in the UK.
It will be an opportunity for key stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the priorities for women’s sports, taking place:
- following the publication of the Government’s Get Active sports strategy in August, which aims to increase participation levels and make sport more inclusive and welcoming for women
- as the Culture, Media and Sport Committee conducts an inquiry into women’s sports, looking at growing audiences and revenue, preventing sexism and misogyny, and improving participation rates of young girls
- following Karen Carney’s review Raising the bar - reframing the opportunity in women’s football, published in June 2023
- a year on from the Whyte Review, looking at abuse and misconduct within British gymnastics
Delegates will examine the implementation of key measures in the Government’s sports strategy, and consider latest thinking on addressing differential participation rates, and wider disparities between men’s and women’s sport.
Discussion will look at challenges women’s sporting organisations face in growing audiences and increasing revenue, evaluating proposals such as a dedicated broadcast slot for women’s football, as well as how athletes are provided with adequate support and facilities.
Further sessions will examine safeguarding and safety in women’s sports, with the Government launching a call for evidence as part of the sports strategy, aiming to improve how issues and concerns are dealt with. Speakers will consider protection for athletes during and after their sporting career, with recommendations to introduce comprehensive healthcare coverage in women’s football to prevent premature retirements.
We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Laura Denison, Head of Elite, International and Women's Sport, DCMS; Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee; and Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive Officer, Women in Sport.
Overall, the agenda includes discussion on:
- policy and regulation: early findings from the Select Committee inquiry - exploring solutions to increase participation - ensuring financial sustainability for sports at all levels
- youth sports provision: reviewing the sports offer in and out of school PE - tackling gender disparity
- growth and development: promoting pathways and opportunities to ensure athlete retention - increasing mainstream coverage of women’s sports
- safeguarding and health: ensuring athlete safety within the sport environment - providing support to athletes on and off the pitch - reviewing policies to limit the risk of abuse and injury
The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DBT; DCMS; GLD; Ofcom; and The Scottish Government.