#Sistersport - a Courier campaign to celebrate active women in Calderdale

Parkrun in Brighouse
Parkrun in Brighouse

Hannah Cockroft. Karen Darke. Rebekah Tiler.

These strong, successful Calderdale athletes flew the flag for our borough - and women - in last year’s Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Their incredible achievements, passion and stamina on the world stage cemented their place as role models and showed nothing is impossible.

But sport isn’t just for athletes - it’s for everyone. Whatever your gender, age, ability, goal, lifestyle or confidence level - there’s something for all to enjoy and a place for everyone to begin their journey.

Figures from Sport England show that the number of women playing sport regularly in England has reached an all-time high of 7.21 million.

Despite this, the difference between the number of men and women playing sport still stands at 1.55 million - and that’s something we want to change.

We are launching a campaign to empower and encourage women, of all ages, abilities and backgrounds in Calderdale to give sport a go and become more active.

From kickboxing classes and swimming to running, zumba, squash or yoga, or even football, rugby, hockey or cricket - Calderdale has plenty to get involved in, in safe, welcoming and friendly environments at a time and place to suit you.

Through #sistersport we want to celebrate women being active, being involved in sport and highlight the incredible work of clubs and organisations supporting every woman to do just that.

Ultimately, we want to encourage and inspire even more females to take part, riding on the ongoing successful work of the national Sport England ‘This Girl Can’ campaign.

Courier editor John Kenealy said: “The Courier is delighted to launch #sistersport this week to encourage and inspire more women to try out a sport and to highlight the fantastic work being done locally to achieve this.”

Over the coming months, we will profile sports and activities across Calderdale to show you what is going on and how you can join in.

We will also shine a light on the barriers and stigma women still face when it comes to being active and tackle the issues surrounding female participation in sport.

Calderdale Council’s leader Tim Swift said: “Calderdale Council is happy to support any initiative aimed at encouraging people to be more active.

“We want to be the most active borough in the north of England by 2021, and campaigns like this one can only help our cause.”

The picture from Calderdale:

Recent figures from Sport England’s active people survey show that 35.7 per cent of females aged 16 and above in the borough play sport once a week - that’s in comparison to 45.5 per cent of men. Meanwhile, in the same age group, just over 40 per cent of women said they had played sport at least once in the previous 28 days, in comparison to nearly 54 per cent of men. Statistics have also revealed that nearly 60 per cent of women surveyed said they had not played any sport at all in the previous 28 days, compared to 46 per cent of men.

*The data runs up to April 2016. The Active People survey is carried out by research company TNS BMRB.

n Would you like to share your story of how joining in an activity has helped, inspired or improved your life no matter how big or small that change has been? Would you like to promote your group, club or activity and encourage more women to get involved?

Let us know newsdesk@halifaxcourier.co.uk or 01422 260209.