International Women’s Day Recap

International Women’s Day Recap

The Female Sports Forum had a busy week celebrating women in sports and International Women’s Day. Between posting all the incredible stories of coaches, athletes, and those involved in sports to sharing all the activities that have gone on over the last week, there has been no lack of showing off all that women do within sports. These are the voices that need to be shared and heard every day and the Female Sports Forum intends to keep highlighting our role models within sports.

On International Women’s Day, joined by the Northern Ireland Sports Forum, we journeyed to Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre to join Ulster Boxing Council and Belfast City Council’s event. The Centre was filled with over 200 girls who enjoyed a boxing session for the first part of the day. For many of the girls, this was the first time they had been able to box. The girls in the second part of the event were able to talk to different community groups which the Female Sports Forum was a part of.

Being able to attend an event like this made it possible to interact with girls and get great feedback on whether they enjoyed being active and involved in physical activity and sports. Research and data show that there is a big drop in girls who are involved in sports in their teenage years. Celebrating girls through boxing yesterday meant that we heard that they were involved in sports like football, hockey, basketball, and Irish dancing. However, many shared that they didn’t have great opportunities to get active outside of school. Teachers shared similar feelings towards opportunities for teenagers to stay active.

On Friday, to continue celebrating women in sports and the positive effects of physical activity the Female Sports Forum travelled to Derry/Londonderry to Oakgrove Integrated College to attend the Manchester United Foundation’s girls’ football tournament. The energy of the day was great with four schools and the mayor attending! The Female Sports Forum presented before the tournament about the dropout of teenage girls in sports to year nine and ten girls from Oakgrove. The presentation showed the benefits of staying active and how skills acquired from sports can positively affect skills used in school and the workplace later in life.

At the end of the week, seeing so many girls having positive experiences across different sports shows that there is something for everyone! It was great to see the smiling faces of 200-plus girls having fun with friends and classmates in these activities. The Female Sports Forum’s mission is to promote getting women and girls active through sports and physical activity comes to the forefront in these moments as still very much needed ten years on. The Female Sports Forum hopes to continue to engage with teenage girls to find ways to encourage continued involvement in sports!