55% of Irish women describe themselves as active compared to 45% of Irish men.
73% of those now attending live sports fixtures also did so as children
Liberty Insurance calls on parents and families to pledge to bring daughters, nieces, and granddaughters to sporting fixtures.
Liberty Insurance revealed a new study¹, ‘WISE UP’ at an audience with author, TV and Radio presenter Clare Balding, discussing the implications of research and insights into Women in Sport in Ireland on Thursday, June 11th in Croke Park.
WISE UP was commissioned by Liberty Insurance as part of a wider series of initiatives undertaken to shine a light on the challenges and opportunities that exist around unlocking transformational gains in Women in Sport (WIS) in Ireland and uncover fresh intelligence to map clearer paths towards greater participation.
The research was carried out by Millward Brown and Onside Marketing.
Part of the challenge set by the WISE UP study team was to seek to uncover and debunk any unhelpful myths or stereotypes that may be limiting the scope of growth in this area.
-In particular it revealed that Irish women are more active than Irish men.
-55% of women describe themselves as active compared to 45% of men.
‘WISE UP’ revealed 60% of people who regularly exercise now were brought to sporting fixtures as a child and 73% of those who attend live sporting fixtures now also did so as children.
Women are less likely to have been brought to fixtures as children at 4 in 10 women, compared to 6 in 10 men.
Liberty Insurance is launching a pledging campaign to encourage parents and families to bring their daughters, sisters, nieces, and granddaughters to a women’s sporting fixture this year. People can tweet their pledge using #supporthersport.
Irish people can be grouped into three segments when it comes to sport and exercise;
• 7% of people are team ‘sports active’ i.e. play in a team
• 43% of the population are ‘exercise active’ either exercising as part of a class or group or exercising alone. Women are more than twice as likely to do group exercise as men.
• 50% of the general population are generally inactive, describing themselves as doing nothing.
Other key findings include:
• For women ‘low contact’ sports like swimming, running and cycling have highest participation levels, whereas viewing is dominated by traditionally male orientated sports like rugby, soccer, and men’s Gaelic football
• Women are more inclined than men to believe there is a parity in skill levels between male and female sports and are eager to see more done to raise the profile of women’s sports
• A big emotional barrier for women when it comes to exercise is fear of being judged on their lack of skill or on how they look
• For women, playing team sport gives an emotional “lift”, it instils self-confidence, drives motivation and provides social buzz.
• There is a pipeline concern that younger females (17-34 years) the most recent demographic to leave school, show the lowest participation in team sport relative to their older counterparts
• Schools, the media and families have the biggest part to play in encouraging greater female involvement in sport
Clare Balding, Author, TV and Radio presenter commented:
“Sport has always been an important part of my life. What it has given me is something that I value and treasure as a core part of me. I grew up in an environment where I was treated equally when it came to what I was encouraged to do and to experience. The research undertaken by Liberty Insurance, which you see today, shows though that there remains a gap between how boys and girls are brought up in sport. That shouldn’t be the case and it is down to all of us to do what we can to promote sport that does not define us by gender, no more than it should by race, colour or creed. We see from this research that more than twice as many men play, and benefit from team sport than women. In addition, 70% of Irish people believe raising the profile of Women’s sport is important.”
Annette Ni Dhathlaoi, Head of Marketing, Liberty Insurance commented:
“By virtue of our decision to partner with both the GAA Hurling & Camogie Championships in 2013, we in Liberty Insurance assumed a responsibility to drive the profile of women sports in Ireland. By showcasing the power, skill and commitment of its women athletes on an equal platform with Hurling players, we assertively obliged people to reappraise their view of Camogie. This has helped fuel a debate that reaches beyond the boundaries of Gaelic Games, to all sports, and, in my opinion, has far-reaching implications for women in Irish society.”
She continued, “Liberty Insurance’s ambition is to create greater female involvement in sport by mobilising stakeholders. The WISE UP research has not previously been conducted in Ireland and it provides us with some fascinating insights. In the spirit of collaboration on this very important subject matter, we are happy to share, and invite challenge and debate of the full findings with sporting associations, rights holders, media groups or other interested parties.”
‘WISE UP’ identifies some key recommendations as follows;
• Start early with schools and parents
• Showcase and advocate opportunities for sponsors and brands in women’s sports
• Encourage attendance at women’s sporting events
• Disrupt convention to showcase female role models
• Commit today to bring our daughters, granddaughters, sisters or nieces to a women’s sporting fixture this year. Lodge your pledge using #supporthersport
For further information and a copy of the ‘WISE UP’ Report please contact:
Kate FitzGerald/Rachel Solon
(01)6690030 / 086 3873083 (Kate)
Kate.email@example.com / Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor:
The research also found the following relating to common myths and stereotypes;
• 60% of men and 62% of women disagree with the statement ‘sports make women look less attractive’
• 62% of men and 65% of women reject the hypothesis that ‘it’s ok for men to sweat playing sport but it’s unfeminine for women’
• 45% of women took part in team sports in school compared to 64% of men – the majority of women do not take part in team sports in school and women are much more likely to do nothing or PE only
The key measures cited by men and women as effective to drive participation levels for ‘Women in Sport’ were;
• 56% of women and 54% of men cited more media coverage of women’s sports
• 59% of women and 47% of men cited greater support from schools
• 49% of women and 42% of men cited families taking girls to matches from an early age
• Others included the importance of role models and better on and off pitch facilities for women in sport.
1. ‘WISE UP’ 2015, Millward Brown and Onside Marketing, commissioned by Liberty Insurance. Qualitative research was used to unearth foundational insight and supplement a subsequent quantitative phase, the latter involving a nationally representative online survey of 1,000 adults aged 17+ in the Republic of Ireland.
*Pictured Clare Balding, Author, TV and Radio presenter in Croke Park at the launch of the "Wise Up" 2015 Millward Brown and Onside Marketing, commissioned by Liberty Insurance