This weekend’s Women of the World Festival in Perth is inviting girls and women of all ages to join them on the North Inch for an afternoon of sport taster sessions in football, cricket, netball and ultimate frisbee.
The event, New Balls Please, is a joint project between Live Active Leisure and the Women of the World Festival and is free to attend as part of the wider weekend celebrations.
As well as allowing girls and women the opportunity to try out different sports, it will also showcase the talent of local sportswomen and coaches; Kirsty Eadie from Perth & Kinross Netball Network, Nicola Wilson, Female Participation Manager for Cricket Scotland, Rebecca McClune from Ultimate Frisbee in Perth and Bex McGowan who plays for St Johnstone FC Ladies and Scotland 19s. They will also be joined by a member of the winning National women’s squad.
Bex, who is also a modern apprentice with Live Active Leisure commented, “I’ve been playing for Scotland since I was 15 and with Saints for the past two years. Football is a great sport for girls to get into – apart from being good for you, you also meet lots of great people and it’s brilliant being part of a club or team.
Playing for Scotland is amazing, especially with the recent win – I’m hoping to go to France next year for the World Cup and I hope our win encourages girls to get out and join in.”
In Scotland there is a specific gender difference in sports participation with almost half as many 16 – 24 year old women taking part as men of the same age. This gap starts in teenage years with the 13-15 age bracket showing 74% of boys as being active in sport compared to only 58% of girls.
Children are significantly more likely to see men in active sports careers, with women’s events making up only 7% of all sports coverage in the UK. One of the reasons that is often cited for this is lack of awareness and subsequently, role models. Children are significantly more likely to see men in active sports careers, with women’s events making up only 7% of all sports coverage in the UK.
Lou Brodie, Women of the World Festival programmer commented, “The gap is real but we can work towards change. When you look at the huge success of the Scottish Women’s Football team this summer it proves that women can and do make amazing sporting heroes!
Girls need to know that sport is there for everyone to enjoy. As well as the obvious benefits to their physical and mental wellbeing, raising the numbers of girls who take part in sport and the length of time they play it for will have both immediate and long-term benefits to society.
Working with Live Active Leisure on this festival event has been extremely inspiring with some great female role models living and working in sports throughout Perth and Kinross and wider Scotland. I am very excited to be welcoming these amazing sportswomen for our come-and-try sessions and would encourage everyone to come out and have a go."
Girls and women who would like to try a new sport or find out more about participating in clubs in Perth and Kinross, should turn up at the North Inch opposite Bell’s Sports Centre between 1pm – 3pm on Saturday 29th September. Wet weather contingency is Perth Concert Hall.
The Scottish FA East Region will also be hosting their girls regional monthly festival on the North Inch that day, with around 150 girls meeting to play.
WOW PERTH 2018 takes places across the 29th to the 30th of September. Check out the programme here.