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  • Comments: 0
  • 14 November 2013 00:00
  • in Government
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  • Last Modified: 14 November 2013 09:10
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80% of women not doing enough exercise reveals WSFF

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Research from the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) has revealed that 80% of women are not doing enough exercise to stay healthy.

The WSFF also say that just 5% of sports media coverage is devoted to women's sport with a shocking 0.5% of commercial investment going to women-only sport.

This comes despite the research showing that over 60% of sports fans say they would like to see more women's sport on the TV.

The statistics were unveiled as the WSFF become the first organisation to give evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that as launched an inquiry into women’s sport.

The committee is looking at a number of areas and is particularly concerned with trying to discover why more girls and women have not taken up sport after the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Tim Woodhouse, the WSFF’s Head of Policy, presented evidence of behalf of the organisation.

"Despite the huge success of female athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the gender gap in sport and fitness still exists across all aspects of sport and physical activity,” he said.

"Women’s sport still isn’t receiving the media coverage and commercial sponsorship it deserves, and the numbers of women and girls participating regularly in sport are also still worryingly low.

"We’re delighted that to have given evidence to the inquiry, and hope that the final report takes into account the interdependency of media coverage, sponsorship, female leadership and cultural change in driving change.”

The Committee has also heard from other witnesses - including triathlete Chrissie Wellington - with the first session focused on the main barriers that exist and the disadvantages women's sport faced compared with sport for men.

The 400m World Champion Christine Ohuruogu is hopeful that the Committee can make an impact but stressed there is a lot of work to do.

"The best thing we can do is show them the benefits of doing sport - whether at elite level or recreational level where you are just trying to keep fit and stay healthy,” Ohuruogu told BBC Radio 5 live.

"That's what is troubling, that more needs to be done to work out why these girls are not accessing sport at a recreational level."

"We wonder how come the Olympic Games, the biggest competition in the world, came to London and it's not gained much traction.

"It is because there are bigger and better images that are grabbing these young people's attention.

"It's not their fault, it's our fault - it's the media's fault, the TV, magazines, the setting out these images of what women should be like and how life is going to be.

"On the one hand we're saying go out and do sport and maybe hurt yourself, get injured, lose - I don't think it's them at fault, it's us doing them a disservice."

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