Barbara urged the Government to increase the amount of funding for women’s sport.
By the age of 15, only 50% of girls do the recommended level of exercise compared to 69% of boys. Inactivity can lead to obesity and heart disease, affecting quality of life. Barbara has previously spoken in Parliamentary debates on participation in sport, and used a Culture, Media and Sport question session in the House of Commons to make her views known to Ministers.
“On the issue of girls' and women's participation in sport, it is understood that there is a bias in national funding, from the top to the bottom, in favour of sports played by men and boys, and that needs to be looked into. Members of the national women's football team do not even receive salaries; they have to do other jobs. That is not an encouragement to girls. Will the new Secretary of State make it a priority to address that imbalance in funding from the top right down to the grass roots, which are so important?”
Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Minister for Sport, confirmed that the Government is working with other organisations to ensure that women in sport, both elite and grassroots, receive necessary funding.
“This is an important point. We have been trying to ensure that the fastest increase is among girls playing football, and to ensure, through the Football Association, that we have an elite league and investment in women's football. As I said earlier, through the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, we are trying to ensure that we stop any imbalance and promote opportunities for girls and women. A dance review is taking place, so the future looks good, but we must ensure that we get to those hard-to-reach groups.”