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Dame Tanni to boost women's sport

1st August 2008

Grey-Thompson says figures show that only 8% of young women play competitive sport
Women in sport are not getting enough funding or media coverage, according to Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.

And Britain's most successful Paralympian will head up a new body to increase women's participation in sport and address the prejudices they face.

Grey-Thompson said: "I have seen for myself many of the inequalities that women and girls have to put up with.

"The commission is exactly what winning the right to host the 2012 Olympics in London was all about."

Grey-Thompson added that the Commission on the Future of Women's Sport would provide "the kind of inspiration and leadership to get more women and girls playing and competing in sport at every level".

Fifty articles in newspapers are devoted to men's sport for every one about women's sport, while females make up 25% of the highest qualified elite and development coaches.

The commission will aim to increase the number of female executives, board members and coaches involved in sport as well as improving media coverage and investment.

Grey-Thompson added: "I suppose it's a bit like a chicken and egg situation. If women don't get more sports coverage then why do people want to watch it?

"That's been a reason that has been given for as long as I can remember, that women's sport just isn't as good, but that's changing as well, I think.

"Twenty years ago people didn't want to watch women's football but at the last women's World Cup more and more people were watching it."

Funding will be switched from National Governing Bodies (NGBs) failing to make specific provision for women's sport to those that do.

And Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), stated: "As 51% of the population, women represent the largest potential opportunity for sport in the UK as well as its greatest reputational risk."


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