...instead of growing up only seeing images of models and make-up on the pages of magazines, young girls saw more sport portrayed in a way that made them want to be more physically active?
What if, just by making sport an everyday part of a girl's world, we could change her perceptions of what she can achieve? How amazing would that be?
Right now, girls and women are being left on the sidelines of sport from a young age, with 2 million fewer women than men playing sport each week.
Girls become less active from the age of 8; by 14 years old, only 1 in 10 girls meet the official guidelines for physical activity. That means many of our sisters, daughters, grand-daughters and friends are missing out on the numerous physical and mental health benefits that being active brings.
Is it any wonder girls are missing out when sport is practically invisible in their daily lives? Take a look at the magazines, the adverts, the media that cater to girls: where are the sportswomen, the people they can look up to and think 'yes, me too'? Why should it only be celebrities, diets, fashion and make-up they're exposed to? Where is the positive portrayal of strong bodies from sport to sit alongside those other lifestyle images?
It's not this way for boys. For most young boys, sport is presented by media as something exciting, aspirational and accessible. It's time to level the playing field.
What if we could change what girls see?
We want to make sport more visible to girls. The media has huge influence on the way girls see the world, so we want to show the media the impact that their portrayal of sport has on young girls, and the role that they can play in promoting healthy ideals; we want to challenge them to make changes.
The role of our crowdfunder is to build a powerful campaign that persuades media to pledge to present sport in a responsible way to girls through their pages. We believe publishers of girls' magazines and digital media have a duty to help make sport normal for them by bringing positive images, messages and role models to their readers.
Your pledge will allow Women in Sport to use our insight, skills and expertise to fight for change on behalf of the next generation of women across the country and for all future generations.
By backing our campaign today, you will be helping girls everywhere grow up into healthy, active and body confident women. You will be part of a movement that helps turn girls in sport from invisible into invincible!
Stage 1: Making the case for media (£15,000 fundraising target)
Insight is at the heart of everything Women in Sport do. Reaching our stage 1 fundraising target will enable us to gather the research and evidence needed to build a compelling case for change.
Your support will allow us to:
- Research and review the way sport is portrayed to girls in their media, along with the ways women's sport is presented;
- Gather insight on the way sport reaches girls through media channels and the impact on young girls' body confidence of negative portrayals of women's sport;
- Develop the right actions that will allow us to influence and change the way the media portrays sport, to give girls everywhere the best chance of growing up with a healthy perspective on sport and physical activity.
Our campaign will then be ready to launch when we reach our stage 2 fundraising target.
Stage 2: Putting it into play (£30,000 fundraising target)
Reaching our stage 2 fundraising target will give us the means to campaign for the creation of a new way for media to help the next generation of girls to be the healthiest, fittest and happiest ever.
We will be able to launch a targeted and powerful campaign that challenges the media to consider the role and impact that their portrayal of sport has on young girls.
We will campaign to:
- Gain commitment from all major UK media outlets in a girl's world to present and promote a positive and responsible image of sport, particularly women's sport and women playing sport;
- Challenge major brands to consider their role in bringing sport to girls and to commit to portraying sport and women playing sport responsibly to girls;
- Use Women's Sport Week in June 2016 to raise awareness and put pressure on media to provide positive and relatable portrayals of sport responsibly to girls.
About Women in Sport
Women in Sport is a registered charity working to transform sport for the benefit of every woman and girl in the UK. We are working from within to change the way that sport is delivered, giving women and girls the opportunity to make their mark across all areas of sport - from the field of play to the boardroom, from early years and throughout their life. We want to make sport fairer and create a future where anyone can fulfil their potential through sport - regardless of gender.
With grateful thanks to Jayna Patel and the University of Nottingham for their support in making our video!