Thanks New Zealand in your beneficiant hospitality.
I’m actually happy to have the ability to take part in as we speak’s occasion, which begins the official handover of the Worldwide Working Group on Girls and Sport from New Zealand to the UK.
It is nice that this occasion can occur alongside Birmingham 2022, which – and it is value repeating – is the most important girls’s sporting occasion in Commonwealth Video games historical past and would be the first time a significant multi-sport occasion in comparison with males’s. There will likely be extra girls and I believe that is improbable.
I’m absolutely dedicated to supporting girls’s sport at each alternative – with an emphasis on larger participation, employment, enterprise alternatives and visibility within the media. The resounding success of Lioness this weekend exhibits how far we’ve come.
The UK has a robust monitor document and powerful historical past of empowering girls and women via sport. There’s a lengthy option to go however we’ve lots to be pleased with on this space.
The media profile of girls’s sport continues to develop and up to date analysis exhibits that two-thirds of UK sports activities followers at present observe some type of girls’s sport, and half have feminine athletes in an occasion. has participated.
Our homegrown initiatives like This Lady Can is inspiring hundreds of thousands of girls and women to be bodily lively. One thing that’s particularly essential as we get better from the pandemic.
We’ve got additionally seen a rise in viewership for the ladies’s recreation.
Latest analysis revealed by the Girls’s Sport Belief exhibits that home girls’s video games attracted a document British broadcast viewers of round 33 million in 2021, the primary drivers being The Hundred and the FA Girls’s Tremendous League.
And essential is the management position of some media shops, together with the BBC, which made the strategic choice to make sure that a lot of these matches have been on BBC One, peak time. It labored. This confirmed that there’s a large viewers for girls’s sports activities. And that’s essential. If there’s an angle, cash and enterprise alternatives begin flowing. As an alternative of doing this as a result of it’s the proper factor to do, we could have elevated competitors to prepare these occasions and be certain that these occasions are televised as a result of they’re commercially viable and commercially enticing.
And this 12 months’s UEFA Girls’s Euro Remaining was attended by a document crowd of greater than 87,000 – probably the most attended match in a males’s or girls’s European Championship. I used to be fortunate sufficient to take part in just a few matches together with the ultimate and I can actually say that there was an important environment. The spectators have been evenly balanced and, importantly, there have been over 100,000 youngster spectators in these matches. I do know the entire nation will need to have been impressed by the lioness.
There have additionally been document sponsorship offers with girls’s sports activities leagues, comparable to Barclays’ sponsorship of the Girls’s Tremendous League, the key girls’s soccer league in England.
And the UK is ready to host a number of excessive profile girls’s sporting occasions this 12 months, together with the Rugby League World Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup. Plus the Birmingham 2022 course which is occurring in the mean time.
We’re working tirelessly to profit from these occasions within the efficiency of girls’s sports activities, and consequently encouraging extra girls and women to be lively. However we consider that we have to go additional.
The IWG is a superb alternative to construct on this success and never solely share the good work we’re doing, however to be taught from different international locations.
The UK Secretariat’s imaginative and prescient for a ‘simply and sustainable post-pandemic world the place girls and women play a full and equitable position’ is one thing I really feel passionately about.
It is crucial that we proceed to try for larger equality and alternative in sport.
We’re working with our Girls’s Sport Working Group within the UK, which a lot of you have got participated in, to see a number of the challenges and alternatives and I’m actually trying ahead to seeing the progress we proceed to make because of these discussions .
I might additionally prefer to commend the work of present hosts New Zealand in sharing, selling and supporting inspiring change tales from all over the world.
Their evolution from the world’s first IWG Perception Hub as a house to the world’s greatest analysis, insights, case research, information and interactive packages comparable to coaching and seminars has additionally been phenomenal.
I consider the IWG generally is a catalyst for the ladies’s sport as we get better from the consequences of the pandemic.
I wish to take this chance to thanks all in your position in securing the IWG Secretariat for the UK.
It’s crucial that we work collectively to share the messages behind the bid of inclusivity, equality and cooperation.
I stay up for persevering with to work with you to make sure that the ladies’s sport continues to flourish not solely within the UK however internationally as effectively.