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Sport England: Almost 3m women increase activity as a result of This Girl Can

By Matthew Campelli    12 Jan 2016
'I kick balls, deal with it' was one of the eye-catching slogans used during the campaign / Sport England

As Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign celebrates its first birthday, the quango has released data revealing the initiative has contributed to increased physical activity for 2.8m women.

The first televised advert was broadcast on 12 January 2015, with an extensive billboard, cinema and online presence following. According to research compiled by analysts TNS BRMB, 1.6m women have started exercising as a result of campaign recognition, with a further 1.2m boosting their activity.

Commissioned by Sport England, the research quizzed a sample of 1,000 women aged 14-40 in November 2015 about the physical activity they do, their attitudes to exercise and their awareness of the campaign.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said she was “encouraged” by the figures which “back up the Active People results” published last month. The 2015 Active People Survey found that 148,700 more women were active for at least 30 minutes once per week, every week in the 12 months up to September 2015.

“They [the figures] show This Girl Can is not just being talked about, but is also changing behaviour,” added Price.

The figures additionally revealed that This Girl Can films have been viewed 37m times on the campaign’s YouTube and Facebook channels, while 540,000 women and girls have joined the This Girl Can social media community.

Over 7,000 organisations have signed up to deliver activity sessions for women and girls as This Girl Can supporters, while retail giant Marks & Spencer launched two clothing ranges in June and October 2015, with a third coming out this month.

“The job is far from done,” added Price, highlighting the gender gap of 1.73m fewer women taking part in physical activity compared to men. “We need to keep getting the message out there that women come in all shapes and sizes and levels of ability, and they should all feel able to exercise and play sport.”

"Initiatives such as Sport England's This Girl Can are helping to change behaviour and encourage more women and girls to participate in sport,” added sports minister Tracey Crouch.

“These figures paint a promising picture but we need to build upon this foundation. That’s why Government launched a new strategy for sport last month to get more people active and secure a sporting future for us all.”

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