WOMEN IN SPORT: A positive influence is so crucial

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This week, through to Sunday (June 7), people across the world are celebrating Women In Sport week and shining a light on incredible female athleticism, enthusiasm and talent.

The positive reaction in response to the first Chronicle & Echo Women In Sport column last week has been overwhelming, and it proves that readers want to hear more about what the ladies are up to as well as the men.

With that in mind I want to say a huge thank you for your support and also want to give you all a massive high five for being part of something that is changing the way people perceive women in sport.

I was shocked to see in a recent study conducted by Sport England that there are currently 1.9million fewer women playing sport once a week than men and it makes me wonder why.

Is it the overall lack of coverage in the media? Or is it issues closer to home?

The Women In Sport charity recently launched the #SwayToPlay campaign, which was supported by a behavioral study of who and what influences a woman when she decides to take part in an activity.

The main thing that stood out for me, is that anyone at any time can be an influencer, both positively and negatively, as to whether a woman takes up sport or not.

A lot like most things in life.

Looking back to my school days, I was lucky enough to have a physical education teacher that was so passionate about sport that it was infectious and I found myself swept along in the journey.

But would it have been the same if my teacher had not have been as supportive?

Whether it’s a friend, colleague, your own daughter, sister, auntie or mum, if you see or hear even the slightest flicker of them wanting to try a new sport or activity, show your support; as I bet they’ll begin to glow and give it their all if you do.

Who knows, you might find yourself going along, too!

There’s plenty going on around the county if you want to get involved locally, and plenty of initiatives aimed at enticing you in.

Check out the ladies cricket team, Northants Steel-lettos, who are giving free taster sessions, or the Northampton Titans, who are currently recruiting for new female American Football players.

There are also plenty of local Breeze cycling rides for both women and families coming up, or if you fancy something a little bouncier, have a look at the Northampton Trampoline and Gymnastics club for a fun all over body workout.

The point of this column is to be a positive influencer for those girls and women on the cusp of taking up sport or recreational activity, and for those already competing.

But don’t just take my word for it – search the Women In Sport Week hashtag on Twitter (#WSW2015) and get involved yourself. You’ll be positively influencing those around you.

Get in touch with your stories and sporting pictures, big and small, to adrianne@actionsportmedia.co.uk or tweet me @Adrianne_Hill