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Sport England to invest in getting women more active

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Sport England CEO Jennie Price has outlined details of a new lottery-funded initiative, aimed at increasing the number of women playing sport.

Speaking at the Us Girls Conference at Warwick University, Price said the new pilot project would examine how an intensive campaign in a specific town or city can change the sporting habits of local women and girls.

Sport England will now consult partners about the ideal location for the National Lottery-funded pilot and the providers and influencers who can create the best possible environment for women to choose sport.

The approach is supported by the secretary of state for sport Maria Miller, who has asked Sport England to prioritise women's sport and last week held talks with leisure operators about the issue.

Miller said: "2012 has seen the number of women playing sport increase significantly.

"A key part of the 2012 legacy will be for the number of women playing sport to increase. It is essential that we engage with women of all ages for that to happen.

Despite a big increase in the number of women playing sport regularly over the past year, women are still much less likely to be active than men.

Findings from the first year of Active Women show that strong factors in attracting women to take part include: face-to-face recruitment; personal follow-up contact; overtly encouraging existing participants to "bring a friend"; wide promotion; and easy access to practical information about what sessions will entail.

The most successful projects have been those that offer affordable sport at convenient times in venues that are easy to get to and where sessions are designed to foster a sociable atmosphere.

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Sport England CEO Jennie Price has outlined details of a new lottery-funded initiative, aimed at increasing the number of women playing sport.
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