Northamptonshire Sport teams up with Street Games UK to offer groups £2,000 to get more women and girls into sports

With a total of £20,000 set to be invested, local groups have a lot to gain from the initiative

By Max Pearson
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 5:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 5:38 pm

Northamptonshire Sport has teamed up with Street Games UK to launch their 'Women and Girls Fund' that offers up to £2,000 to sporty groups in the county.

After coming out of lockdown, the funds are intended to support those disproportionately affected by the pandemic and help 'break down barriers' that the fund feels are significantly impacting their ability to be physically active.

Citing the statistic that 27 percent of women and girls in the county are inactive, the group said that Covid-19 has seen women and girls suffer a prolonged drop in participation and that men have returned to activity quicker, now that restrictions have eased.

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With a total pool of £20,000 to invest Northamptonshire Sport could have a significant impact on women's sports in Northamptonshire.

Because of this, particular attention is also being paid to 'priority groups' spanning lower socio-economic groups, ethnically diverse communities, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

The funds are also separated into supporting three age groups. These being 14-18-year-old’s, 18-24 year old’s and older adults.

Matthew Peleszok, Northamptonshire Sport's lead officer said: “Through our desire to increase access to a more physically active lifestyle, these funding pots allow us the opportunity to reach out to new partners and talk through and develop exciting opportunities for more people to be active.

"This allows residents who may not necessarily have direct access to opportunities try new activities out.

"The use of trusted partners for these women and girls will be crucial to co-develop the new framework for physical activity across Northamptonshire.”

In order to qualify, any applicant must provide at least 15 activity sessions, specifically designed to include and motivate those groups who the fund sees as 'disproportionately affected'.

The funds are reportedly not intended to create dependency, but instead ensure the resource helps through a difficult time.

In the long-run it is hoped the fund goes some way to 'informing and creating a future' beyond the Northamptonshire Women and Girls Fund, so applications must show a level of sustainability within.

When asked about the future she would like to see, Anjona Roy, chief of the Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC), said: "I think this is a great piece of positive action done by Northamptonshire Sport.

"It's really clear that certain communities have been more impacted by lockdown than others, not only in terms of their overall fitness, but also in the mental and physical health and overall wellbeing.

"What we really welcome is that this is a great opportunity to build grassroots sports with groups of women who, while they might not be that into sports now, might be drawn in.

"We don't know who will be the next great women's soccer player or the next best BMX rider, but this is the purpose of equality, so that we are drawing from the deepest well of talent and we are more likely to find someone who will excel."

The fund's deadline is midday on February 2. Anyone who would like to learn more can visit their website.