Its been a long time goal of The Shona Project to get more girls involved in sports. We believe passionately that its about time that girls and women’s sport is taken seriously in Ireland. In fact, this year, we’ve put our money where our mouth is and sponsored our first team, Park Rangers U14 girls squad in Waterford. (First game Sunday, stay tuned folks).
So we were thrilled when we heard about a new campaign called 20 x 20, launched this week by the Federation of Irish Sport to create a cultural shift in our perception of girls and women in sport. 20 x 20 wants to create more noise around women’s sport, because while we have amazing athletes and competitors in Ireland, we don’t highlight and celebrate them enough.
Did you know that less than 1% of sponsorship goes to women? Ah lads, that’s shocking.
20 x 20 aims to address the subliminal bias which exists in Ireland, sometimes by the girls themselves, and make the following changes:
- 20% more media coverage of women in sport by the end of 2020
- 20% more female participation whether at player, coach, referee or administration level by the end of 2020
- 20% more attendance at women’s games and events by the end of 2020
We love that this isn’t a ‘women for women’ initiative, it’s ‘all of society for all of society’, because sport benefits everyone in so many ways, building confidence and self-esteem, raising appreciation for our bodies as tools and not ornaments, celebrating strength and stamina, building communities, contributing to positive mental health, reducing strength, the list goes on.
There are so many ways that we can get involved,
- Sports clubs, schools, gyms and universities can increase opportunities for girls to take part
- The media can pledge to increase visibility of women’s sport.
- Athletes can mentor, coach and support other girls.
- And parents can encourage their daughters to take part, and take it seriously.
20 x 20 are encouraging girls to get involved by putting the two stripes on both cheeks and posting pictures online using #20×20, #ShowYourStripes and #CantSeeCantBe online. Lets all get stuck in. ⚽🏐⚽🏐⚽🏐⚽
For more information, check out 20×20.ie.