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Welsh Conference to Examine and Celebrate the Role of Women in Sport


North Wales business group Network She has partnered with Surf Snowdonia to deliver a one-day conference which will examine and celebrate the role of women in sport.

The free-to-attend event will take place at Surf Snowdonia on Thursday 21st June and is part of Surf Snowdonia’s month-long female-focussed Girls on Board initiative taking place throughout June.

The conference will feature lively panel discussions as well as engaging debates, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities. Professional sportswomen including Welsh rally driver Jade Paveley and Wales Rugby Union’s Rachel Taylor will share insights into their career journeys, challenges and successes.

The day will conclude with an opportunity for attendees and guests to try a surf taster lesson with some of Surf Snowdonia’s expert female coaches.

Ruth Lloyd-Williams, founder and director of Network She, said:

“Network She is passionate about supporting women and girls in all walks of life, and we are thrilled to be working with Surf Snowdonia to host this inaugural conference for Women in Sport, North Wales.

“We’ve put together a programme which will be engaging, entertaining and informative. The day is packed full of inspiring guests and speakers, and we’ll hear personal stories from some of Wales’s most successful sportswomen.

“The day is also about creating a catalyst for meaningful change. We’ll be looking at how we can come together as a region to challenge stereotypes and increase female engagement – that means increasing participation and tackling inequality from the grassroots up.”

The Women in Sport conference is one of the featured events for Surf Snowdonia’s month-long Girls on Board initiative, which the surf park says it hopes will encourage more women and girls to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle. Over 200 local women have surfed for the first time so far in June 2018, as part of the Girls on Board initiative.

Jo Dennison, head of water operations at Surf Snowdonia and six-time – and current – Welsh surf champion will also be one of the conference’s guest speakers. She said:

“We’ve come a long way but there is still a long road to go before we have real gender equality in sport. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a hugely exciting opportunity. I’m really looking forward to being part of the discussion, sharing best practice and exploring new ideas.”

Delegates attending include schools from Gwynedd and Conwy, as well youth groups, community clubs and professional sports associations.

The Gender Gap

According to research carried out by Sport Wales, there is still a huge gender gap in sport participation in the UK.

Around 2 million fewer 14-40 year-old women than men engage regularly in a sport or activity. That’s despite the fact that 75% of women and girls say they want to be more active. Confidence is often cited as the main barrier to taking part.

In June 2018, Forbes released its list of the Top 100 Highest Paid Athletes. For the first time since 2010 it didn’t include any women.