Ali Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, recently gave evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s inquiry into Women’s Sport.
The inquiry was established in December 2022, with an ambition to understand issues around the growth of women’s football, and the challenges that women’s sporting organisations face as they develop. The Committee is also investigating what action needs to be taking to improve parity between men’s and women’s sport.
Giving evidence to MPs from a number of different political parties, Ali highlighted the Youth Sport Trust’s insights from years of delivering interventions designed to encourage more girls and young women to be physically active.
Ali also shared findings from our Girls Active survey, including the ‘enjoyment gap’ which shows that many girls are not enjoying PE for reasons including a lack of self-confidence, concerns around body image, and a desire to avoid being watched or judged by others.
In addition, Ali highlighted the role of interventions such as the Barclays Girls’ Football in Schools programme, designed with the FA to promote equal access to football for girls.
You can read a transcript from the session here, which also included evidence from other members of the National Sector Partners Group, a cross-sector group of organisations working to increasing levels of physical activity.
The nature of select committee enquiries enables a deep-dive into complex issues, collection of evidence from stakeholders with a broad range of expertise and perspectives, and the proposal of recommendations on a cross-party basis that can inform and shape both policy implementation and investment.
Having received evidence via both oral evidence sessions and written submissions, the Committee will produce a report exploring what can be done to support women’s sport. We are grateful to the Committee for inviting the Youth Sport Trust to be part of this process and looking forward to seeing the conclusions in due course.