The Federation of Ireland has launched an innovative project around women’s sport in Ireland.
Ireland’s female sports stars have had a stellar year yet women’s sport in this country lags behind in attendance and sponsorship.
Research done on behalf of Along Came a Spider, the agency behind the new 20x20 campaign found that 3 per cent of sport’s print coverage and 4 per cent of online coverage is dedicated to women’s only sport. Less than 20 per cent of all sport on TV features sport relating to either women only or mixed sport.
Young women and girls are not seeing themselves or their sports represented in the media. The 20x20 campaign aims to change that. It has three ambitious but simple objectives:
- 20 per cent more media coverage of women in sport by the end of 2020
- 20 per cent more female participation whether at player, coach, referee or administration level by the end of 2020
- 20 per cent more attendance at women’s games and events by the end of 2020
Retired England international and current Manchester United Women's first manager Casey Stoney spoke at the launch. She told RTÉ Sport:
"Sport provides such incredible opportunities. As a young girl I was told that football was just for boys and yet, I went on to play 130 times for England including at World Cups, European Championships and even representing GB at the London 2012 Olympics.
It is so important that girls and women have role models to whom they can relate… I believe if supported by all involved in sport it really could be a landmark moment for sport in [Ireland]."
The campaign also calls on Irish society as a whole to work to increase the visibility of women’s sports and women in sport. It’s asking all of us to step up; to encourage our daughters and the young women in our lives to take up sport; to attend more women’s sporting events; to offer to coach or assist girls’ teams. To demand more coverage of women’s sports from our media.
You can show your support by putting two stripes on both cheeks and post online using #20×20, #ShowYourStripes and #CantSeeCantBe.
* This article was originally published on our sister publication Irish Tatler.