Sports Direct launches Equal Play initiative to drive gender diversity in sports
Sports Direct has launched a new initiative called Equal Play as it looks to help accelerate gender diversity in sport and make the sports sector more equitable.
The retailer said the scheme will aim to increase diversity, inclusivity and equality in sports and fitness over the next four years and spearhead a new era of sport for women. The initiative has been informed by a new report by Sports Direct charity partner Women in Sport, which calls for immediate action to address the challenges facing female athletes at all levels.
Beckie Stanion, chief marketing officer at Sports Direct, said: “In 2021, it’s shocking to see the huge disparities between the sexes in sport, at all levels. 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.”
Sports Direct will create welcoming spaces where women can discover new sports and access the training, encouragement, information and kit they need. The retailer is also planning to support arange of UK grassroots organisations that will benefit from financial, material or training support.
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, chief executive of Women in Sport, said: “It’s great to see a sports brand that reaches so many people every day standing up for the rights of women and girls to play sport. This is not just about sport but about life chances, fairness, and personal resilience. Given this, and the joy and freedom sport can give, it’s plain wrong if girls and women miss out. Any change starts with understanding what needs to change and we’re proud to have helped Sports Direct with this initiative.”
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