Westminster Media Forum

Women and the sport sector - participation, representation, and prominence

Morning, Tuesday, 21st April 2020

Central London


This conference focuses on the priorities for developing the role of women across all levels of the UK sports sector, the prominence of women’s sport, and the next steps for policy in the next parliament.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Increasing female participation in sport - maximising opportunities and delivery challenges;
  • Media exposure, commercial revenue generation, and developing elite talent; and
  • Improving diversity and representation across the sector.

It will be an opportunity to examine policy developments in areas including:

  • Funding - with UK Sport’s new funding strategy expected to come into force in April 2021;
  • Sport in schools - in light of the cross-government School Sport and Activity Action Plan;
  • Broadcast coverage - with recent proposed changes to the status of women’s sport under the Listed Events regime;
  • Diversity - following the UK Sport-Sport England Diversity in Sport Governance report; and
  • Priorities for the new parliament - with plans outlined in the general election campaign to support sport in schools and address low activity levels.

Speakers and chairs


  • Dame Sarah Storey, British Cycling Policy Advocate and Active Travel Commissioner, Sheffield City Region;
  • Barbara Slater, Director, BBC Sport; and
  • Anna Deignan, Deputy Director, Head of Sport, DCMS.

Further confirmed speakers: Councillor Kamran A. Caan, Coventry Health and Wellbeing Board; Georgina Faulkner, Sky Sports; Chrissy Fice, Vitality; Andy Parkinson, British Rowing; Siobhán Prior, Basketball England and Nottingham Wildcats; Amna Rafiq, Leicestershire County Cricket Club and Graham Williams, Sport Wales.


Lord Thomas of Gresford, Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rowing and Gavin Newlands MP.

The agenda

  • Encouraging greater physical activity among women and girls - key next steps and challenges;
  • Supporting diversity and representation across the sport sector;
  • Broadcasting and the sport sector - reaching new audiences and sustaining growth in the women’s market;
  • Nurturing elite talent - alternative career pathways, physical and professional development, and improving gender equality in sport;
  • Developing grassroots sports across the UK - fundraising, access to facilities, and reducing socio-economic barriers to participation;
  • Assessing the effectiveness of current sector initiatives to improve the wider diversity of sport; and
  • Women in leadership and the workforce, media portrayal of women and women’s sport, and growing commercial investment.

Keynote Speakers

Lisa O’Keefe

Executive Director of Insight, Sport England

Anna Deignan

Deputy Director, Head of Sport, DCMS

Barbara Slater

Director, BBC Sport


Gavin Newlands MP


Graham Williams

Director of Community Engagement, Sport Wales

Amna Rafiq

Community Engagement Officer, Leicestershire County Cricket Club

Councillor Kamran A. Caan

Cabinet Member, Public Health and Sport and Chair, Coventry Health and Wellbeing Board

Siobhán Prior

Athlete, Nottingham Wildcats and Basketball England and Director, Basketball Operations, Nottingham Wildcats

Chrissy Fice

Brand Director, Vitality

Dame Sarah Storey

British Cycling Policy Advocate and Active Travel Commissioner, Sheffield City Region

Georgina Faulkner

Head, Multi Sports, Sky Sport

Andy Parkinson

Chief Executive Officer, British Rowing