This Girl Can inspiring millions of women and girls to get active

By Hayley Cook on January 12th, 2016 - comments

RollerGirls2Millions of women and girls have been inspired to get active by Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign.

2.8 million 14-40 year old women who recognise the campaign say they’ve done some or more activity as a result, 1.6 million of whom say they’ve actually started exercising.

These are findings from new independent research, carried out by analysts from TNS BRMB, released today on the campaign’s first birthday. The snapshot survey asked a sample of 1000 women in November 2015 about the physical activity they did, their attitudes to exercise and their awareness of the campaign.

The findings come one month after Sport England’s annual survey of the amount of sport and physical activity the nation does, known as the Active People Survey. It found that 148,700 more women were active for at least 30 minutes once a week, every week in the 12 months up to September 2015, compared to the 12 months up to March 2015.

Jennie Price, Sport England’s chief executive, said:

“I’m very encouraged by these new figures, which back up the Active People results we saw last month. They show This Girl Can is not just being talked about, but is also changing behaviour.

“But the job is far from done. With a gender gap of 1.73 million fewer women playing sport 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.” 

The This Girl Can campaign is the first of its kind to feature women of all shapes, sizes and sporting abilities that sweat and jiggle as they exercise. It seeks to tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport by using images that are the complete opposite of the idealised and stylised images of women we often see.

The campaign doesn’t hold back in celebrating women exercising and playing sport. “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox” and “I kick balls, deal with it” are among the hard hitting lines used in the campaign to prompt a change in attitudes and help boost women’s confidence.

Other findings published today include:

  • This Girl Can films have been viewed 37 million views on campaign’s YouTube and Facebook channels alone
  • 540,000 women and girls have joined the ever growing This Girl Can social media community
  • There has been 660,000 tweets using #ThisGirlCan
  • The campaign has been talked about on social media every single day since it launched on 12 January 2015 – including Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  • The campaign has been talked about in over 110 countries around the world

In Lincolnshire, Lincoln Golf Centre delivered female-only golf sessions to promote female participation and Active Lincolnshire ran a competition with Priory Academy LSST to create the best This Girl Can inspired media project. One of the target groups for Active Lincolnshire’s Sportivate funding is also aimed at women and girls, aged 11 – 25 years.

Janet Inman, Chief Executive at Active Lincolnshire, said:

“There has been a real buzz around the This Girl Can campaign, and we’re really proud that Lincolnshire has contributed to its success.

“Over the next few months England Netball is delivering Back to Netball sessions across the county, and in spring we’ll have a number of Sportivate sessions specifically aimed at women and girls – so the promotion won’t stop now!”

Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, said:

“Initiatives such as Sport England’s This Girl Can are helping to change behaviour and encourage more women and girls to participate in sport. 

“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.”

Later in January, a new partnership with Sport Relief will also be launched, encouraging women to get active whilst raising money for great causes.

This Girl Can recap

The first This Girl Can TV advert appeared on ITV at approximately 19:45 on Monday 12 January 2015. Billboard, cinema and online adverts appeared later that month. The campaign has been talked about in the media and on social media every single day since its launch. In June 2015, the second phase of TV and billboard adverting launched, alongside the campaign’s first clothing range from Marks & Spencer and web app so that women can create their own This Girl Can posters. A second clothing range launched in September 2015 and a third in January 2016. Over 7000 organisations have so far signed up as This Girl Can supporters, delivering activity sessions for women and girls.

This Girl Can has so far won over 40 national and international awards, including the United Nations Foundation and Lions Health Grand Prix for Good.