68% of girls say a fear of feeling judged by others is a barrier to doing sport.
 - Women in Sport

On the 21 September Access Sport launched the Inclusive Club Network with our Make Clubs for Girls webinar. This brilliant event brought clubs together to celebrate female inclusion in community sport and featured Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE, Tanya Martin from Women in Sport and showcases from Girls on the Spectrum and Stretford Victoria FC.

Here at Access Sport, we believe we all have a shared responsibility to reimagine and reframe sport and physical activity as something that girls perceive differently, that enhances their lives and provides what they’re seeking.

This webinar reflected this belief and was an essential first step in connecting like-minded clubs with expertise and examples to inspire action.

What’s the issue?

From a young age, girls are often steered away from sports and encouraged to pursue other activities. This cultural bias translates into fewer resources, less encouragement, and limited role models for girls in sport and physical activity. As a result, many girls face significant barriers to participation, ranging from lack of confidence to limited access to suitable facilities or supportive coaching. Through this exclusion many girls miss out on the life-changing benefits sport and physical activity have to offer, including:

  • Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Social connections, lasting friendships and a sense of belonging
  • A sustained engagement in sports, promoting a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Through this webinar, we were able to provide clubs with insight to understand the topic, and practical guidance to make a real impact on female inclusion in community sport.

Learning from the Make Clubs for Girls Webinar

During the webinar, we heard from clubs that have made meaningful progress towards improved female inclusion, and we also had some fascinating discussions about their plans going forward. Some key learnings included:

Getting feedback from female participants: As a starting point, clubs should be proactive about encouraging their female participants to feedback into the decision-making process. It is essential that the views of the women and girls already involved are considered when it comes to shaping your approach to female inclusion. This could be done via surveys or direct conversations. 

Female inclusive spaces: It is crucial that community sport clubs create spaces that cater to women and girls. An important consideration is safety when travelling to and from sessions. A great way to do this is to encouraging girls to travel together or organising sessions when it’s light outside so they feel safer on their journeys. It is also important to encourage male participants, volunteers and coaches to be considerate about their behaviour and clothing choices to avoid women and girls feeling uncomfortable when participating.

Funding support: There a number of funding opportunities for community clubs such as the Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund (AIPFF), small start-up grants from Access Sport and the Jack Petchey Foundation. Please contact [email protected] if you’d like any further support with this.

Upcoming female inclusion events

As part of ongoing Inclusive Club Network, we are hosting two Female Inclusion Training sessions. These online workshops aim to increase your knowledge, skills and confidence in delivering activities to women and girls. They will provide an opportunity for you to connect and share ideas with other like-minded community clubs whilst increasing your gender awareness. You can see the upcoming dates and sign up below:

10 October – 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Register here

12 October – 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Register here


There is an abundance of information about female inclusion in community sport. It can be difficult to know where to start. Alongside Women in Sport, we have created a bespoke list of resources, research and toolkits to support your club’s female inclusion journey. See the links below.

Toolkit: Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls, Women in Sport
Understanding Your Audience: A Guide to Understanding Your Audience, Women in Sport
Guide: Applying the 8 Principles for Success, Women in Sport

Inspiring Projects and Programmes

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here is a selection of projects and programmes that have prioritised women and girls.

Big Sister project and Big Sister website for girls, Women in Sport
Studio You, Sport England
Her Moves, Sport Ireland
Girls Leadership Through Cricket, Chance to Shine
The Girls' Programme, Football Beyond Borders
Muslim Girls Fence, British Fencing and Maslaha
Us Girls, Street Games

Get in Touch
Please get in touch with us to tell us about other female inclusion projects we should be aware of, and please tell us what actions you’re going to take to prioritise women and girls at your club.
[email protected]