Students from Highfields School in Matlock, Derbyshire have praised the support and guidance of the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership and ‘Women in Sport’ after the first screening of a film to highlight the range of sporting careers available to women and girls.
Women in Sport (formerly known as the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation) premiered the “Careers in Sport” film at Highfields on Tuesday 18th November. It showed three students interviewing women working throughout in sport including TV presenter, Charlie Webster, and women with roles in organizations, including UK Sport and Virgin Active. Its aim is to help address a situation which sees women underrepresented at all levels of the sports industry.
15 year-old Grace Pickford, who was involved in the project, said: “The best bit was going to London to interview so many women with different roles in the sport industry. We got to find out about their careers and how they got there. We want to thank Ms Allen [RDSSP School Sport Coordinator] for the opportunities. We wouldn’t have been able to do it if she hadn’t backed us. Getting involved has been the best thing we’ve done.”
15 year-old fellow students Emily Hancock and Mimi Evans, and 16 year-old Niamh Robertson said: “Being involved with the RDSSP has opened so many doors for us, it’s been mind-blowing. It’s helped us to develop skills in teaching and become more confident. We’ve made new friends and it’s given us amazing opportunities like this one.”
The school’s Voice of Sport Representative, 14 year old Sophie Hamilton-Cody said: “Ms Allen has been so encouraging, she works to get girls in my year involved in sport and so many are now getting involved and enjoying it. It’s given us so many prospects and has been really good fun.”
The launch of the short video follows the inaugural Women’s Sport Conference at Lord’s last month, aimed at improving the gender balance in sport, which the girls also attended.
They had the chance to meet and interview a number of high-profile women figures in the sporting world including Sports Minister, Helen Grant; TV presenters, Clare Balding and Jane Dougall; Olympic athlete, Gail Emms MBE; Captain of the British Fed Cup team, Judy Murray; Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans; CEO of The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, Ruth Holdaway; sportswear designer, Lily Rice; and four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion, Chrissie Wellington.
RDSSP School Sport Coordinator, Jayne Allen, said: “The film launch has given the girls excitement. They’ve grown so much in confidence as role models throughout this project. I hope they’ll go back into their year groups and be able to share their passion and interest for Women in Sport with others. Certainly from my point of view, it’s food for thought on how we can transmit that enthusiasm to the rest of the school.”
Strategic Lead for Sport and Fundraising at Women in Sport, Radha Balani, said: “We want to see more women in the industry and make women realise that sport isn’t the easy option. By exposing the type of jobs available in the industry and the skills you may need, for example, to be a sports lawyer, you need to be as competent as a property lawyer.”
“We want to make women realise there’s a place in the sports industry for them and they have every right to it, in the same way as men do. It’s a worthwhile and rewarding career and even if they don’t want a career in sport, being active, healthy and taking part makes such a different to your life generally – physically, emotionally, socially and mentally. So whether you work in sport or not, if you enjoy it, there is never a reason to stop doing it, and being a woman is not a reason to not be playing sport.”
Head Teacher at Highfields, Eddie Wilkes, says: “This work is the tip of a huge iceberg. For the youngsters who’ve produced the brilliant film and spoken to all these amazing people, it’s been the culmination of years of work with the RDSSP. They’ve learnt skills from this experience that don’t just apply to sport, but to life in general. They can think about how this has challenged them, and how they can meet the challenges in their day-to-day life, how they’ve been inspired, how they actually deal with situations where they’re not successful, and building on resilience that they’ll need in life as well. Working together as a team, relying on others and being relied on, there are so many different dimensions to this.”
Film available to view here https://vimeo.com/112395006
Photos above include students chatting to Clare Balding and Chrissie Wellington. Download high resolution images: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjCz9zKZ
Find out more about the organisations mentioned above:
• Highfields School website – http://www.highfields.derbyshire.sch.uk
• Women in Sport website – http://www.womeninsport.org or follow on Twitter @Womeninsport_uk
About Women in Sport
Women in Sport (formerly the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation) is the leading charity dedicated to transforming sport for the benefit of every woman and girl in the UK.
With 30 years’ experience of working in the sport sector, Women in Sport draws on its unique insight to champion the right of every woman and girl in the UK to take part in, and benefit from, sport: from the field of play to the boardroom, from early years and throughout her life.