Improving Participation for Women and Girls in Sport

Physical activity is beneficial for the health of the body and mind. Yet, participation rates among women and girls are much lower than for men.

The context

The Scottish Government launched its first Women and Girls in Sport Week in October 2017, this saw stakeholders across the country come together to understand what can be done to increase participation. Disparities exist across the life course, with gaps in participation between boys and girls emerging as early as 11 years old.

The established Women and Girls Advisory Board is working with the Scottish Government to ensure that every woman and girl is given the best opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity. Along with the Sporting Equality Fund, there is potential to drive participation, engagement and promotion.

As we approach the midway point of the 10-year national strategy A More Active Scotland, the Scottish Government and stakeholders must review the successes and future targets to close the physical activity gender gap.

The event 

Join us at this timely Holyrood briefing to examine the next steps to encourage more women and girls into sport and physical activity. We will bring together expert speakers and those working in the field to share learning and look forward to the second phase of the national strategy. 

Key issues to be addressed

  • Current policy and next steps for physical activity policy in Scotland
  • Improving health and wellbeing through increased physical activity for women and girls
  • Examining how schools, communities and other stakeholders can encourage women and girls to become involved in physical activity, no matter what age they are
  • Understanding the mental health barriers to engaging in physical activity
  • Learning from and sharing good practice 

Confirmed speakers

  • Alison Johnstone MSP, Member for the Lothian, Scottish Green Party
  • Maureen McGonigle, Founder, Scottish Women in Sport
  • Geraldine McGuire, Head of Development, Netball Scotland
  • Mags Duncan, Principle Sport and Outdoor Activities Manager, High Life Highland
  • Karen McInally, Active Schools Manager, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Ltd
  • Graeme Dale, Senior Development Manager, Active Schools at Sport Aberdeen 
  • Kirsteen Torrance, Cycling Development Officer, Fife Council
  • Alex Johnson, Manager Scotland, Spirit of 2012


09:30   Registration and Refreshments

10:00   Welcome and Introduction from Chair

            Jennifer Trueland, Health and Social Care Journalist

10:05   Session 1: Policy and Overview

  • Understanding how 'A More Active Scotland' can deliver positive outcomes for women and girls
  • Current trends for women and girls in sport 
  • How to make women and girls comfortable in sporting environments 

10:55  Questions and Discussion

11:15   Refreshments and Networking

11:30   Session 2: Encouraging Women and Girls to get Involved

  • How schools can encourage more girls into sport 
  • Reaching women in the community
  • Encouraging women and girls to become leaders
  • Improving active infrastructure to overall improve the equality of access
  • Supporting coaches, volunteers and decision makers to raise awareness 
  • Improving transitions between involvement in sports at school and the rest of the life course 

12:50   Questions and Discussion 

13:00   Lunch and Networking

13:45   Session 3: Good Practice Case Studies

A series of case studies will share learning and experience into good practice to encourage women and girls into sport.

15:05     Questions and Discussion

15:35     Closing Remarks from Chair

15:45     Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


This briefing will be held in central Edinburgh. The venue will be confirmed in due course. 


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For all event enquiries please email or call 0131 285 1635.

28 February 2018



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