New initiative began to advertise girls's sport

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We have been thinking a lot about the future of women in sports lately. While it may (unfortunately) come as no surprise to know that sport is often viewed as less important by women than men, recent statistics have shown us the true extent of the inequality between the two – and we are not happy about it.

Fortunately, there are many amazing campaigns out there that address the problem head on. (ICYMI, last week we shared a campaign on the future of fitness for young women).

Equal Play is a brand new initiative from Sports Direct in partnership with the Women in Sport charity to help close the gender gap in sport.

It was launched on the basis of research that showed great differences not only in the importance of men's and women's sport as perceived by young people, but also in their expectations of their own future participation in sport. You can read the full report here

Three main gaps were identified in the report: an investment gap (pay, sponsorship and prize money), a visibility gap (media and representation), and an opportunity gap (cultural mindset, societal barriers and access).

Equal Play hopes to solve these problems by celebrating and accelerating diversity and equality in the sports industry. Over the next four years, the campaign aims to improve women's visibility in sport, create welcoming spaces for women to discover new sports, provide information, training and equipment, and help grassroots organizations around the world do the same.

To kick off the initiative, Sports Direct has contracted three brilliant female athletes who will provide the support to achieve their goals and ultimately inspire and encourage more girls to participate in the sport:

Ramala Ali

Ramala is the first professional Somali female boxer who originally founded the Sisters Club to provide free training for Muslim women. She has expanded the organization to give women who have suffered domestic violence or sexual assault the opportunity to defend themselves. The Sisters Club gym in London, where it took place, is threatened with closure. Sports Direct has taken action to offer her new space and expand her vital work by expanding the Sisters Club across the UK. The courses will be launched in four Everlast Fitness Clubs nationwide and are designed to provide exercise rooms where women can feel safe and secure.

“I don't think we have to ask for permission in 2021 to ensure fairness and equality in all areas Sports Coverage and payment, ”she says. “Broadcasters, organizers and advertisers have an obligation and an obligation to implement this now. Anything else is an obvious statement against equality. Not having this is exactly the opposite of Sports themselves and the principles in which each Sports Discipline builds on it. I understand this more than most, I had to invest my savings in mine Sports Career before I was even noticed, sponsored, or considered an athlete, regardless of achievements. This shouldn't be the norm for the next generation of women. It shouldn't be at your livelihood or family risk. "

Zoe Smith

Zoe is a top team UK weightlifter who was forced to self-fund her Olympic trip due to government cuts that forced her to train alongside her job as a barista to fund her trip while studying at university. As well as full sponsorship, Sports Direct turns her garage into a fully functional gym, making it easier for her to exercise while juggling with her studies.

"I'm not going to pretend that getting into professional weightlifting was easy," she explains. “My funding was cut, I juggled jobs, and my sanity fell – but am I glad I kept going? Absolutely! The Olympics are in sight and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I want to encourage all girls never to give up on their dreams. I also hope that there will be real change for women overall Sportsand therefore I am very happy to be involved in it Sports DirectEqual Play Initiative. "

Lucy Monkman

You might know Lucy as DJ Monki. She previously played for Chelsea FC at the academy level but decided to pursue her other love, music, as she didn't think she could make it to the top. "It makes me sad to think that so many young girls are not chasing hers Sports Dream because of society's prejudices, ”she says. Lucy will be the face of all football content Sports DirectChannels to promote female voices as experts in the industry, not just gamers. “See more women SportsWhether playing games or on our screens, girls feel inspired, ”she says.

"In 2021, it will be shocking to see the huge differences between the sexes in sport at all levels," said Beckie Stanion, chief marketing officer at Sports Direct. “We see sport as a great balance, but unfortunately a lot more needs to be done when it comes to gender. We are excited to work with inspiring women in all sports to bring these inequalities to light and fill the void. We know it will be a journey, but we look forward to making inspiring, real and tangible changes in the world of women's sports. "

You can find out more about the campaign here.

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