A black teenage girl and a mixed race teenage girl playing dodgeball

Project 51

Project 51 is a partnership programme between Sported and Women in Sport, funded by Comic Relief, that helps girls in the most deprived areas of the UK to fulfil their potential. It aims to use sport to overcome the impact of negative gender stereotypes which are one of the key barriers preventing more women and girls getting active. Only 43% of girls say they have the same choice as boys at school in sport and exercise, and amongst secondary school-age children, being ‘sporty’ is still widely seen as a masculine trait.

As part of Project 51, between October 2017 and December 2019 sports groups across the country received interactive workshops sharing Women in Sport’s research and insight into the values and motivations that guide women and girls’ decision making. Sported also provided volunteer support for six months to help clubs embed the insight into their day-to-day activities, and develop a business plan that focuses on improving female engagement and inclusion.

In addition to this a core group of girls from participating groups received coaching and support from Women in Sport to act as ‘influencers’ in encouraging friends and peers to become more active. The successfully selected seven girls met a number of times over the last year to share their views and discuss how they can represent the voice of girls who are missing out on the lifelong benefits of sport in the UK, and campaign for the changes they want to see.

Read more from Young Influencer Verity from Project 51 on gender stereotyping.

Read the 2019 Project 51 Impact Report for a review of the success of the programme.

Visit the Project 51 toolkit for more advice, tips and support on creating equal opportunities for girls in community sport.