Sports Direct’s new “Equal Play” to address “shocking” inequalities in sport

Sports Direct gender diversity
40% of young people feel society perceives female sport as less important and female athletes as less talented
// Sports Direct introduces new “Equal Play” initiative to address inequalities in sport
// Sports Direct said it will create welcoming spaces where women can discover new sports
// Equal Play will aim to level the playing field over the next four years and beyond

Sports Direct has launched a long-term initiative “Equal Play” to accelerate equality in sports and help close the gender gap, following “huge disparities” between sexes within the sports industry.

Equal Play will aim to level the playing field over the next four years and beyond, to accelerate diversity, inclusivity and equality in sports and fitness.

Sports Direct said it will create welcoming spaces where women can discover new sports and access the training, encouragement, information, and kit they need.


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The initiative came after new research – commissioned with charity partner Women in Sport – found that 40 per cent of young people feel society perceives female sport as less important and female athletes as less talented.

Meanwhile, 46 per cent of girls said that if they saw more high-profile women’s sports, it would encourage them to do more sport.

“In 2021, it’s shocking to see the huge disparities between the sexes in sport, at all levels,” Sports Direct chief marketing officer Beckie Stanion said.

“During the pandemic, these issues have been growing, which is why our “Equal Play” initiative is now more important than ever.

“We see sport as the great equaliser, but sadly when it comes to gender, so much more needs to be done.

“We’re excited to be working alongside inspirational women across all sports, to help bring these inequalities to light and start to close the gap.

“We know it’ll be a journey, but we look forward to creating inspiring real, tangible change in the world of female sport.”

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