WEC to take evidence from Olympian and Chair of UK Sport on health and physiology-related issues for girls and women in sport
The Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) will take evidence from Olympian and Chair of UK Sport Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, alongside other sports organisations on health and physiology-related issues for girls and women in sport.
During the inquiry’s third and final oral evidence session, the cross-party committee of MPs will hear from the main UK or England-wide organisations responsible for governance, funding, and sports and exercise science, plus coaching from grassroots to elite level. These include: Sport England, UK Coaching, UK Sport, UK Sports Institute and the Youth Sport Trust.
Likely areas of questioning
The session will examine the extent to which health and physiology-related barriers to girls’ and women’s participation and performance in sports and exercise are being identified and addressed, and how well organisations are working together to do so. It also aims to identify and test potential recommendations for positive change across the sector.
Areas for discussion will include: gender disparities in sport and exercise participation; the effectiveness of campaigns, government action plans and strategies; the gender gap in sports and exercise research; coaching education and potentially harmful coaching cultures in swimming and wider sport; plus policies around pregnancy and maternity.
A key focus is on how girls’ and women’s health and physiology – body image, injuries and sports-related illnesses, periods, pregnancy and maternity, perimenopause and menopause – can act as barriers to participation and elite performance in sport.
The Committee has already heard evidence from sportswomen, sports scientists, coaches, clinicians and policy campaigners and is considering ways of bringing about positive change.
In July, Chair Caroline Nokes MP wrote to football boot brands - Adidas, IDA Sports, Nike, Umbro and Puma - about the lack of boots designed specifically for women and girls. This followed evidence to the Committee that football boot design may be a factor in the disproportionate prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries among female footballers.