See me, Hear me, Match me. Visibility and Partnership in Women's Sport 2022 #SheCanSheWill
4th October 2022
2022 marks the sixth year we have celebrated the Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week. The week provides an opportunity to increase the visibility of women and girls in sport and physical activity, showcase partnerships, raise awareness of the barriers faced and highlight the many health benefits sport and physical activity can bring.
At LEAP we want to make sure that all women, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, are able to participate and enjoy sport to its fullest extent.
In January of this year we started our first trans women Steering Group in partnership with the Corra Foundation. This group has the explicit aims of trying to make sport a safer, more accepting place for trans women and creating resources to help teams achieve this goal. We want to demonstrate that sport can be and should be an accepting and safe place for all women to enjoy.
LEAP is committed to breaking down the structural, social and personal barriers which prevent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people across the country from accessing, participating and excelling in Scottish sports. According to the Active Lives Report (May 19 to May 20), over a quarter (26%) of women are inactive (less than 30 minutes of physical activity each week). This number jumps to (70%) when it comes to trans people, with transgender women facing some of the worst backlash when trying to participate in sport. While we are seeing more and more success and representation in the women's game the few high profile trans women athletes are instead becoming infamous with their successes used to justify further sanctions and in some cases total bans from the sport.
Sport has the ability to improve both physical and mental health while also helping build confidence and community. Something that, regardless of gender, we should all be striving for. Transgender people make up less than 1% of the UK population, but the rules and bans that are coming into place will have an impact on all women. Rules that are intended for the elite levels have a knock on effect at grassroot level which means most transgender women don’t feel safe going along to a local comunity class, let alone excel and be seen to “dominate” at international level.
The aims of this year's campaign highlight the importance of visibility and partnership and there are many ways that you can help and be part of this movement.
To keep up with the rest of the action this week, follow the Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week hub on Actify, where there is a host of podcasts, webinars and educational resources. You can also get involved by following them on Twitter @ActiveScotGov and by using the hashtag #SheCanSheWill. Use this when posting to share your narrative, story, short films, blogs, vlogs, photos and videos that highlight the importance of increasing visibility and partnerships to remove barriers, support and encourage women and girls’ participation in sport and physical activity.
You can also volunteer and be part of the team here at LEAP! We have a range of opportunities on our website. If you are a trans woman or trans feminine person, are interested in sport and would like to be part of a group then you can! Our steering group meet once a month (both online and in person) and our meetings are a mixture of discussion and open/ activity days. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information).
Beyond this, there are many ways that you can get involved, not just for the week, but beyond. We need visible allies and visible partnerships. We need people and groups and clubs and sports who are willing to stand up and say that they support all women's place in sport. This campaign, like so many others, is about more than just a week of action. It is about shining a spotlight on the many victories we have had and the battles we have still to overcome.
We must work together to increase participation and visibility in women's sports and we must do so loudly and proudly. For all women.