Star athlete backs online campaign to get more women into sport

PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:41 01 July 2020

Norfolk-born athlete Vicky Williamson. Picture: Sportside

Norfolk-born athlete Vicky Williamson. Picture: Sportside


A Norfolk-born star athlete is encouraging more women to take part in sport.

Norfolk-born athlete Vicky Williamson on the track. Picture: SportsideNorfolk-born athlete Vicky Williamson on the track. Picture: Sportside

Team GB bobsleigh competitor and former track cyclist Vicky Williamson, 29, who grew up in Hevingham, near Aylsham, and studied at Norwich High School for Girls, has backed the Gender Play Gap campaign.

The campaign was the idea of Sportside app, which matches people to certain sports, and is aimed at increasing participation in women’s sport by empowering women with the confidence to speak out and make change happen.

Norfolk-born bobsleigh star Vicky Williamson. Picture: SportsideNorfolk-born bobsleigh star Vicky Williamson. Picture: Sportside

Launching the campaign, Miss Williamson, said: “Sport should be inclusive, and it should be accessible for everyone.

“Women across the world want to take part, but there are barriers to their participation.

“It’s hardly surprising that participation in women’s sport is lower than men’s sport.

“You just need to look at the salary difference between the top men and the top women to scratch the surface of why women are less inclined to pursue a career in sport.”

MORE: Williamson ‘overwhelmed’ following race return three years after career-threatening crash

Evidence gathered by Sport England suggests that before COVID-19, participation in sport and physical activity has never been higher, according to its Active Lives Adult Survey November 2018/19 Report.

Sportside hopes to encourage women of all ages to use COVID-19 as the catalyst for either getting active or staying active.

A lack of time, caring responsibilities, a lack of self-confidence and a shortage of facilities are amongst the reasons given by most women who do not participate in sport, but financial disparities are a huge driver too, according to Sportside.

Hermione Way, Sportside’s chief marketing officer, said: “At Sportside we are a community built on our love of sport, and sport is at its best when it’s inclusive regardless of age, gender or background.

“That’s why we are delighted to be launching our Gender Play Gap campaign placing an emphasis on the importance of physical activity, particularly amongst women.

“Under participation in sport amongst women is a long running problem, and improvements have been made in recent year.

“But COVID-19 has the potential to destroy the progress we have made, and we can’t let that happen.”


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