Top sportspeople calling for greater promotion of women’s sport

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Some of Ireland’s top sportspeople have come together to call for greater promotion of women’s sport.

Stephanie Roche (centre) with, left to right, Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Twitter’s Anne Kiely, Cork dual star Rena Buckley, Dublin footballer Philly McMahon, and Joy Neville, former Ireland international and Elite IRFU Rugby Referee.

The aim is to boost media coverage of, participation in, and attendance at women’s sports by 20% before the end of next year.

Today’s event at Twitter’s headquarters in Dublin was all about getting behind the 20×20 campaign.

Co-founder Sarah Colgan said: “It’s looking to change culturally how we perceive girls and women in sport, to make it more part of our cultural DNA, and part of who we are and what we follow in the way men’s sport currently is.”

Rena Buckley, who’s won 18 All-Irelands for Cork across football and camogie, says there’s still bias against women’s sport:

“There’s huge biases, some of them conscious and some of them unconscious. The biggest things are the aims that the 20×20 campaign are trying to address.”

They’re focused on boosting attendances at women’s sporting events, increasing media coverage, and getting more young girls playing.

Arsenal footballer Louise Quinn, who’s also an Ireland international, says things are starting to change:

“The supporters that come to our games in England and the Irish team games, there’s so many young girls and teams coming and if we can inspire them to want to become professional and want to play sport, that’s the most important thing.”

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