The Cardiff Born Athelete, Tanni Grey-Thompson Britain’s greatest Paralympian, changed the perception of Paralympic sport for ever.
Sixteen Paralympic medals – 11 gold – six London marathon wins and 30 world records. Grey-Thompson, Britain’s greatest Paralympian, changed the perception of Paralympic sport for ever, from plucky hobbyists overcoming adversity to elite athletes in their own right.
Tanni Grey-Thompson says it’s quite hard to find data, but as per findings there’s a massive under investment (in women’s sport). She was speaking after a new report from the Commission of the Future of Women’s Sport showing there is a chronic lack of investment.
Sports Marketing Executive, Nigel Currie said women’s sport did not receive enough exposure. The report shows that sponsorship of women’s sport in the UK makes up 0.5% of the total market.
This compares to 61% for men over the same period, between January 2010 and August this year. The remainder of the money goes to mixed sports.
“In the lead up to the (Olympic) games there’s some women who are doing well and they figure fairly high up in individual sponsorship deals, but the majority of women in sport really struggle.”
She said it was difficult to know why women’s sport suffered from a lack of investment.
“It’s a real challenge because people are saying that women are as skilled as men, as aspirational so it doesn’t quite make sense,” she added.
Mr Currie said “The big problem is that the TV executives aren’t spending enough, or prepared to spend enough, on women’s sport.
“Until they do the sponsors are going to stay away because at the moment there’s just not enough exposure for certain women’s sports, and they’re not developing a big enough long-term following.”
Baroness Grey-Thompson added: “It’s disappointing that more brands and rights holders haven’t seized the opportunity to benefit themselves and women’s sport, and help create a lasting legacy.”
Tanni Grey-Thompson won 11 gold medals at four Paralympics – her 1st in Barcelona in 1992. A charity which campaigns to get more women more active fears the lack of investment in elite women’s sport has broader implications.
Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, said: “Lack of investment accounts, in large part, for the absence of a female sporting culture in the UK.
“Women’s sport is not widely promoted and its competitors are not being publicly presented as fit and healthy sporting role models to inspire women and girls to be physically active.
“This is at a time when 80% of women and girls, half the UK population, are not playing enough sport or doing enough exercise to benefit their health.”