Media coverage of female athletes will increase girls’ interest in sport, claim advisers

Media coverage of female athletes will increase girls' interest in sport, claim advisers

Amanda Jones

Putting women and girls in the spotlight is one of the goals set out in a new report aiming to increase participation in sport and physical activity across Scotland.

The Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Advisory Board (ScotWGSAB) argues women and girls will be more likely to take up a sport or exercise if there is increased reporting of top athletes, social participants and events in the media.

The board which is made up of leaders from sport, business and media has recommended a Scottish Sport Media Summit is established to discuss, review and challenge the nature and extent of existing media coverage in Scotland.

The report, which comes at the start of Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week 2019, also highlights the need for greater gender balance in leadership and management roles across Scottish sport.

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Recent high profile sporting events such as FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Solheim Cup and the Vitality Netball World Cup have been watched, enjoyed and experienced by huge audiences. The increased visibility has not only shone a light on inspirational role models but has led to a rise in participation.

“There is much to be proud of and this report contains a set of strong recommendations to continue to grow and improve participation and audiences.

“I want to drive forward increased gender equality within sport and physical activity in Scotland now and in the future.

“By accepting the board’s recommendations we will work towards a level playing field where everyone is treated fairly and can achieve their full potential.”

Amanda Jones, Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Advisory Board chair, and partner and global women’s advancement director at law firm Dentons, said: “We passionately believe that measures to increase activity levels of women and girls will make Scotland a better place to live for all.

“Our recommendations in this report are challenging but we commend them to the Scottish government.

“The summer of 2019 was a momentous time for women’s sport both in Scotland and globally. It is important that we continue to build from that.”

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