Women in Sport – What we shared!

  • Some of the problems raised by participants:
    • Can be easier to get women to participate in ‘peripheral’ activities like 5- or 7-a-side but not the main club activities.
    • User-generate content on facebook etc can be a vicious circle if it projects an image of a predominantly male club.
    • Retention is a challenge, but reaching new female members is trickier.
    • Ageing is a barrier to participation by both sexes, but maybe sooner for women.
  • Some bullets summarising the key points Heather made in her presentation:
    • The values produced by Women in Sport came from research with women from across the country, across ages and social groups. They show that different women engage with sport in different ways and
    • But everyone will want to be made a clear offer of how a sporting activity will align with their values, so that might mean producing multiple marketing materials – i.e. some which appeal to competitive sportswomen and some which appeal to socialisers (provided your club offers both options).
    • A good start is to review what type of values your club offers. Survey your members (and those who haven’t returned) to see what their values are and whether your club is meeting (or didn’t meet) them.
    • Marketing materials should include pictures of real, relateable role models. Women need a realistic image of what they’re turning up to. If it’s a social session, show it. If its
    • Behind that, some women like more details to answer any questions that might put them off coming along (especially novices), e.g. what kit do they need, what’s access like, who should they talk to when they arrive?
  • Actions clubs can take forward:
    • Use the values: to evaluate all the communication you’re putting out…not every piece of communication needs to speak to all the value, but it should be clear about those it’s speaking to.
    • Review what your club values are, and survey your members (or potential members who didn’t come back) to see what their values are.
    • Review you website and marketing materials. Do they embody the values? Do they give equal prominence to women? Are all members of the club living the values in user-generated content?
    • Sign up to the Women In Sport newsletter and browse their website for some handy materials.
    • The London Royals webpage is an example of doing some work to make their website more attractive to women and to people looking for social hockey. As a committee, take a look and critique how it’s used the values and what message it’s sending out with its images, content and layout. Then do the same with your club materials and see if there’s anything to change/improve.

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