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About us.

Our history

Who are we?

The Women's Sports Foundation is the UK's leading organisation dedicated to improving and promoting opportunities for women and girls in sport and physical activity.

What do we do?

We are committed to improving, increasing and promoting opportunities for women and girls - in all roles and at all levels - in sport, fitness and physical activity through advocacy, information, education, research and training. We campaign for change at all levels of sport through raising awareness and influencing policy.

When was the organisation set up?

It was originally set up in 1984 by women working in sport who were concerned about the lack of sport and recreation opportunities for women and girls, and the low representation of women in sports coaching, sports management and the sports media. WSF became a registered charity and company limited by guarantee in 1997.

How are we funded?

  • At present the Women's Sports Foundation is funded primarily by Sport England.
  • We also receive a small amount of additional income via other grants, donations and supporter subscriptions for our magazine and information resources.

What have we achieved?

Since 1984, the Women's Sports Foundation has been involved in a variety of projects to promote women's sport. These have included:

  • The Women's Sports Foundation Awards for Girls and Young Women, sponsored by Tampax, which provided £100,000 in grants to young sportswomen during 1992 and 1993.
  • Training for Britain's top sportswomen on working with the media, attracting sports sponsorship, employment opportunities in sport and recreation, and receiving benefits from sports science support.
  • The National Action Plan for Women's and Girls' Sport and Physical Activity (1999-2001). The WSF National Action Plan advocated a multi-agency approach to promoting sport and physical activity for women and girls, and was designed to encourage sport-related organisations to identify targets and actions that would help to achieve sporting gender equity.
  • Women into High Performance Coaching Project: a three-year pilot scheme, established in 2000 by the WSF and sports coach UK. The scheme is working with four national governing bodies of sport to develop women into high performance coaching positions. See the sportscoachuk website for more information.
  • Women Get Set Go: a personal development course intended to provide a springboard for women into sports leadership, whether as coaches, administrators or officials. The British Sports Trust is now running this course in partnership with WSF.

We also produce a variety of women and sport resources including posters, information packs, photographic exhibition and fact sheets. See our products and services section.

How do we work?

In 2001, we took a fresh look at our organisation, and reviewed both our work and the way we work. As a result we formulated a new vision and mission, and clarified our core activities.

This review enabled us to re-focus as an advocacy agency, working mainly at a policy level to influence change. Since then, we have moved away from delivery work in favour of a partnership approach where we work with other organisations to initiate new projects.

Our agenda for change targets government and sport policy-makers at all levels so that they will:

  • recognise the inequalities that still exist throughout sport
  • appreciate the huge potential that is being lost
  • take action at every level - from national policy to the grass roots delivery of sport - to address these issues.

If you would like to get involved in supporting our work there are lots of opportunities.

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© The Womens Sports Foundation 2005 Registered charity number