News

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council sign pledge to get more women into sport

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are the first council to collectively sign a pledge to get more women and girls into sport.

The Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Cheryl Johnston signing the pledge alongside Angela Platt, Chair of the Female Sports Forum (L) and Danielle McDowell Project Manager with the Female Sports Forum

The ‘Women and Girls: Active Fit and Sporty Pledge’ encourages all stakeholders of female sport in Northern Ireland to influence and support female participation in sport and physical activity.

Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Cheryl Johnston who attended the launch said, “Council is committed through the delivery of its current and future sport and physical activity programmes continue to make a positive change for female sport across our Borough.

“This pledge not only enables Council to deliver a wide variety of programmes to promote physical activity with women and girls, but will help build a better future for generations to come.

“I feel passionately about encouraging people to become involved in sport, especially as I play football myself, and as a council we consistently promote and develop all types of sporting and fitness activities. Building healthier communities is a key priority for council and essential funding like this will help us achieve that.

“Already Council’s Every Body Active 2020 Small Grants Programme has awarded £22,500 to groups throughout the Borough with the aim to increase female participation. Some of the groups are represented here today and we are delighted to have them to be a part of the signing of the Women and Girls: Active Fit and Sporty Pledge.”

Angela Platt, Chair of the Female Sports Forum who are behind the pledge said, “Sport has been and continues to be an important part of my life. It helped shape me growing up, teaching me valuable life lessons such as leadership, teamwork, discipline and respect. Sport has also provided me with opportunities to work in the sports sector and develop my own career. I therefore have first-hand experience of the positive impact that sport and physical activity can have on women and girls.

“It doesn’t just keep you fit but helps to boost self-esteem and confidence. It also encourages women and girls to become part of a team and strive to be the best that they can be. However, women are still playing far less sport than men, there are fewer women than men represented on National Governing Body of Sport Boards, and in relation to media coverage women’s sport is a small percentage of all coverage. We have confidence that through this strategy and the continued dedication of partner organisations like Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, we can influence change to make women and girls playing and working in sport an accepted norm in Northern Ireland.”

Applications for the EBA 2020 Small Grants Programme are currently open and we would encourage as many groups who work with females, people with disabilities and those living in areas of high social need to apply.

For more information and to keep up to date you can go to our Grants section or sign up to the pledge on the Northern Ireland Sports Forum website.

Photograph: The Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Cheryl Johnston signing the pledge alongside Angela Platt, Chair of the Female Sports Forum (L) and Danielle McDowell Project Manager with the Female Sports Forum