New group to raise profile of women in sport

Two of Scotland’s leading figures have given their support to a new charity that will tackle inequalities and heighten awareness of women's role in sport.

Scottish Women in Sport (SWiS) was launched last week by leading tennis coach Judy Murray and Olympic medal-winning rower Katherine Grainger. Both are said to have encountered behaviour and attitudes that challenged their right to be at the top of their sports.

‘Undervalued and unrepresented’
SWiS says the current position of female sports stars is that they are undervalued, unrepresented and unknown and have presented a series of facts that speak for themselves.

These include the statistic that out of the total market sponsorship women received just 0.5%. Men's sport is allocated 60%.
Sports media coverage also favours men, for every 53 articles written about male sporting stars there is just one penned about women.

Judy Murray told Scottish TV “The most important thing is to have more women in decision making positions, within governing bodies and within businesses that can influence how things are done on behalf of girls and women”.

Breaking down stereotypes
The Scottish launch comes as the Women in Football group in England continues its work to offer mentoring and support to women working in the football industry through a series of regular activities.

The SWiS mission statement says their focus “is to educate on the social and health benefits to girls and women by taking part in sport, increase the participation levels and to celebrate all that is great about Scotland’s female athletes.”

These objectives will be achieved through breaking down media stereotypes, creating a strong lobbying voice, increasing the profile of women across all sports, influencing decision makers and encouraging commercial investment into sports that include women.

The launch comes as Scotland faces a historic year in which sport will also be centre stage with the hosting of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July and the Ryder Cup golf tournament in September. SWiS says they will work to ensure all female participants receive an equal share of the cash and the column inches.

Watch a TV report of the launch

Follow SWiS on twitter

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