Girls Do Sport, a new program aimed at promoting sport amongst young women in Scotland, was launched today at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
The scheme is a partnership between the University of the West of Scotland and the charity Scottish Women in Sport, which features nine sports, including tennis, basketball, and boxing.
The pioneering project will see Sports Journalism students from the university producing a variety of content around the nine sports. The partnership will also see ten 15-minute television shows created, with each episode focusing on one sport, and a final episode featuring highlights from the series.
Girls Do Sport was officially put in motion this morning with an event at the Emirates Arena, which included representatives from each sport, and also saw the unveiling of a billboard to promote it.
Maureen McGonigle, founder and CEO of Scottish Women in Sport was also present at the event, and said: “Originally when I started the charity in 2013 I realised there were not an awful lot of opportunities for women’s sports to get their message out there.
“I’d say the aims of the program are to reach a lot of girls, to let them see that sport is inclusive, that it’s for them.
“My hopes are that it increases participation and awareness, and gives some sports the opportunity to link with commercial businesses and get some funding.
“So there’s big hopes for a project that has very little finance behind it.”
Mrs. McGonigle was also quick to praise the charity’s partnerships, as well as the scope and ambition of the program.
“We’ve never been involved with a project of this magnitude before. There has been many partners who have came in and helped us here because we don’t have the finance to do it.
“If we look at This Girl Can, which is a huge campaign down in England which has made a difference, they got £25 million in funding, and we got £10,000.”
Amy Liu, a former Scotland international hockey player at youth level who is now a coach, was positive about the program but emphasised the importance of publicising female sport.
Liu said: “I think we could promote sport a bit more and start with advertising more. You see adverts for lots of different sports but I think that most of them are more male athletes that you see.
“I think role models are really important to encourage people to take up a sport.
“You see young boys talking about looking up to Ronaldo or Messi, but how many younger girls can say they love a female role model in sport for them to apire to be like?”
Representatives from the university were also in attendance. Elizabeth McLaughlin, Sports Journalism lecturer and the academic lead on Girls Do Sport, added: “It is great to be involved in this.
“The University of the West of Scotland has the only Sports Journalism course in the country and it makes sense to partner with Scottish Women in Sport.
“The university is all about gender equality and the importance of sport for men and women.
“It works for us in so many ways.”
The first Girls Do Sport show will air on Friday 13 October through social media channels, such as the university’s YouTube channel, and will focus on tennis.