Engage 2017: Creating the future of sport

Jennie Price CBE, Chief Executive of Sport England, talks to us about the future of sport and how Sport England want to create a world where girls grow up feeling free to be physically active without fear of judgement.

Jennie Price CBE

How are you and Sport England creating the future?

We want to create a world where girls grow up feeling free to be physically active without fear of judgement. We’re doing this by directly tackling the emotional barriers that women have said stops them from joining in, including concerns over what they look like or whether they should spend time exercising instead of spending time on other priorities such as studying and looking after children or other family members. This Girl Can shares and celebrates the true stories and images of everyday women who are getting active in their own way – women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and abilities. It surfaces the thoughts that women think only they have (which, in reality, are very natural and are shared by millions of women) and makes sport and physical activity both relevant and appealing to women who had previously never felt it was for them. We can’t stop people from judging us, but we can practice not letting judgement stop us.

If it could be invented tomorrow, what one thing would make your job easier?

A way to distil and share the essence of that feeling you have when you’re back from a run, dance class, training session or workout you didn’t want to do but did anyway. Even if you don’t get an endorphin high, chalk up a PB or remember every step, the feeling of confidence, achievement and wellbeing from simply doing it is immense. That’s what we’ve tried to bring to life with our creative; to remind people that when the sofa is calling, we’ll feel better for doing something active before first hitting the sofa.

What one thing would you like the industry to do as a result of Engage as we look ahead to creating the future for (digital) advertising?

To think about the images and stories they use in their creative materials and understand the impact this can have on the women (and men) watching it. This Girl Can has shown that using real women in advertising is inspiring to other women; you don’t have to make women feel upset about their bodies or themselves to successfully change their behaviours.

 

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