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The Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation – How They Can Help

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fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

The Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation – Who They Are, What They Do and How They Can Help You

Today I went to London for a meeting with Chris Lillistone, Insight and Innovation Manager, at the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. Although I have been involved in sport and fitness both as an athlete and a trainer for over 20 years I hadn’t heard of the WSFF until a few weeks ago. I thought it was time I had a chat with them, found out who they are and what exactly they do for women’s sport.

They share some fantastic offices in Holborn with Sport England and Chris, very kindly, met with me for over an hour to talk about the history of the WSFF, what projects they are involved with now and where they see themselves in the future. Of course as part of the meeting I had to ensure they were equally aware of the very important work I do with teenage girls here in Poole!

Sue Tibballs is Chief Executive of the WSFF having taken over the role just over 3 years ago. Shortly after her appointment the Women’s Sports Foundation changed its title to the WSFF and with this change came a new emphasis for the charity. Where previously they had concentrated on athletes they now had a new broader focus to increase participation in fitness for all women. Their vision is for “activity to be a part of all women’s and girl’s lives.”

The WSFF are mainly funded by Sport England and the majority of their time is spent communicating and working with the various sporting National Governing Bodies (such as the Royal Yachting Association, Football Association, British Judo, Britsh Cycling etc etc – 47 in total) to discuss new initiatives for retaining women in sport and encouraging more women to participate. Their emphasis is on delivering what the customer, ie women, need and want and how to fulfill this.

They have recently secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund which will enable them to extend they field of work. They will spend this money on a number of Focus Groups with 9-16 year old girls looking at the reasons why this age group become disengaged with sport specifically considering competition, personal identity and the impact of social groups on participation. Following on from these focus groups the WSFF will produce a report with suggestions to break these cycles.

The WSFF produces a lot of reports! In fact their main role is to help and guide those of us that deliver the programmes to women and girls. Their website is a hive of information relating to every aspect of women’s sport and fitness.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, Wikimedia photo

They do have another role though and that is to encourage policy review and change. As they say; “the size of the crisis, along with the magnitude of the potential reward, calls for over-arching political leadership.” They are calling for more public money to be spent on raising women and girl’s participation levels not just in sports but in all fitness.

Later this year the WSFF are launching a new initiative “She Moves”. A campaign for women; led by women.

It will utilize social media to bring programs together all with one focus; to increase the participation of women in sport by delivering what women want. It is planned that this initiative will be extended to include “She Moves Children” and “She Moves Babies”.

There are exciting developments happening at the WSFF. As women and girls we need to be part of it. We need to get across our views of what we want and need to make sport and fitness more appealing to us.

Have a look at their website and if you have the opportunity to be part of one of their focus groups I encourage you to jump at the chance. It may well be the best opportunity you get to let your views be heard not just by the WSFF but also by politicians and members of the National Governing Bodies who ultimately make the decisions.

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Maggie Ayre is a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Adviser for Teenage Girls. Her goal is to get every teen girl active. Not only does fitness and good nutrition lead to a healthy body it also has been proven to increase self-confidence, self-esteem and even lead to better exam results!

Maggie’s blog http://www.maggieayre.com offers advice and guidance for parents, teenage girls and fitness professionals.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Maggie_Ayre/474526

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5881349

 

Maggie Ayre is a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Adviser for Teenage Girls. Her goal is to get every teen girl active. Not only does fitness and good nutrition lead to a healthy body it also has been proven to increase self-confidence, self-esteem and even lead to better exam results!

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