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Visibility matters - study finds less than 3% of sports photos in national newspapers are of women

7 November 2018

Visibility matters - study finds less than 3% of sports photos in national newspapers are of women

The #SeeSportyBeSporty campaign calls for photos in the media to be more gender equal.

Research published has revealed that less than 3% of photographs of sport in the newspapers show women playing sport. We are 33 times more likely to see a man playing sport in the newspapers than a woman.

Yorkshire based training company Totally Runable works with girls and female school staff building confidence in sport. Their research, completed over the course of a year, looked at photographs in the UK’s top national daily newspapers, and the gender split of sports photographs.

Former UK Champion 200m runner and founder of the company Emily Freeman backs the “See Sporty Be Sporty” campaign, which calls for photos in the media to be more gender equal.

“By age 7 girls are 22% less likely to call themselves “very sporty” than boys, although they will call themselves “quite sporty”, so it’s not something they aren’t interested in. It’s a matter of confidence," she said.

"Without seeing women being sporty there is a very strong message being sent to girls, and other women for that matter, that being sporty isn’t a “girly” thing to do. What damage might that be doing to girls and their expectations for themselves?”

The See Sporty Be Sporty campaign is asking sportspeople and the public to show their support by signing an online petition (https://www.change.org/p/all-uk-newspapers-seesportybesporty) and sharing photos of themselves on social media using #SeeSportyBeSporty to raise awareness.

Fellow Team GB runner and World Championships medallist Jenny Meadows has also pledged her support, adding: “I’m a huge advocate for raising confidence and aspiration levels in young women. I can’t wait to take this work national with Totally Runable.”

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