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Page last updated at 06:38 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 07:38 UK

Dame Tanni to boost women's sport

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson
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".

Figures show that more than 80% of women do not take enough exercise and only 8% of young women play competitive sport.

606: DEBATE
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.

"Too many women feel that its male domination has left it out of touch with an otherwise increasingly equal society.

"Sport should welcome the commission with open arms."




see also
Why sport needs women
22 Jul 08 |  Sport Homepage
Meet Team GB's top athletes
14 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Douglas sets new GB 100m record
17 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Radcliffe faces race against time
14 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Twell wins to boost Beijing hopes
13 Jul 08 |  Athletics


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