On October 1st, Student Sport Ireland in partnership with 20×20 announced the first ever national women in sport initiative for third level colleges and universities on the island of Ireland.
Twenty-four Student Sport Ireland member colleges and universities, representing more than 200,000 students signed 20×20 Charters declaring their commitment to women and girls in sport.
The 20×20 Third Level Member initiative calls on all students and members of staff to increase visibility of women’s sport in their respective college or university, boost attendances and grow participation and on-campus involvement of female students in sport and physical activity by 20% by the end of 2020.
Waterford IT student and current 100m and 200m Irish record holder, Phil Healy said; “Sport has always been a massive part of my college life, both in UCC and now in Waterford IT so I know the positive impact it has. I’m excited that the new 20×20 Third Level Member initiative will offer an opportunity to more of my fellow students in Ireland to try something new and feel the benefits of sport in their own lives too.”
“20×20 is delighted to partner with Student Sport Ireland on the first ever national women in sport initiative for third level colleges and universities on the island of Ireland. Over 200,00 students in Ireland represents a big part of the future of Irish society and we can’t wait to work with them to increase visibility, participation and attendance at women’s sporting events and competitions on campus. As a 20×20 Third Level Member, colleges and universities are committing to have a real impact on their female student’s college experience. We want to encourage more female students to try something new and maybe find a physical activity or sport that they love. This alone has the potential to benefits students in college and throughout their lives.” Sharon O’Connor, 20×20 Campaign Manager.
Student Sport Ireland President, Ms Carmel Lynch said; “As the governing body of third level sport in Ireland, we are delighted to see that so many of our members truly value the importance of promoting and developing female sport and physical activity. Student Sport Ireland believes that the 20×20 initiative will enhance awareness around female sport and participation levels will continue to grow across the island of Ireland.”
Yvonne McGowan, Student Sport Ireland board member, Physical Activity Committee member and Senior Sports Development Officer in DCU said; “Irish Sports Monitor Research shows that the sharpest decrease in females’ sports participation occurs during the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood. Women are also less likely to volunteer, attend sporting events and be a member of a sports club. 20×20 represents an opportunity for Student Sport Ireland and the Colleges and Universities sector to work collaboratively to tackle this issue, and to make a positive impact on female physical activity and overall health during third level education and beyond.”