Scottish Government Ministers recently met the people behind the projects which encourage more women and girls to engage in sport and physical activity as part of Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week.
This year the Week focused on inclusivity, where organisations and projects across the country are providing opportunities for all to participate, as well as removing barriers which discourage women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity.
Throughout the week, women and girls across Scotland were invited to engage in any form of physical activity, enabling them to become part of an ‘unofficial’ nationwide team line up.
Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning, Joe FitzPatrick MSP, was at the Dundee Football Performance Academy training session at Dundee’s Regional Performance Centre today, to see how women and girls there are being encouraged to take part and supported in their athlete development.
The minster heard from participants and coaches from the club, who spoke about the clubs aim of establishing a sustainable player focused development programme to support talented female footballers reach their full potential in a best environment. The academy is designed to complement the players current club training schedule and will offer a long-term player development programme for each athlete.
Mr. FitzPatrick also had the opportunity to talk to officials from Leisure & Culture Dundee and Community Leisure UK where he heard about the wider work of leisure trusts to engage girls and women in sport and physical activity. The minster spoke with representatives about the impact that leisure trusts have on the local communities and how they are supporting local authorities to deliver on Scottish Government priorities.
Following this, Mr FitzPatrick was invited to watch and participate in some of the training session with the girls.
Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning, Joe FitzPatrick MSP said: “During Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week I was delighted to visit the Dundee Regional Performance Centre to see how women and girls are supported to take part in sport and physical activity.
“I heard from the players and coaching staff from the Dundee Football Performance Academy about the fantastic programme they have in place to provide talented female footballers with pathway to develop and reach their full potential within the sport.
“Local sport and leisure facilities are vital in supporting the physical and mental health of the nation. I was pleased to learn more about the wider activity lead by a number of local organisations across the city providing women and girls with active opportunities.”
John McCafferty, Interim Head of Development at Leisure & Culture Dundee said: “We are pleased to see this recognition for the important impact we are having at The Dundee Football Performance Academy . We've created a programme to allow girls to thrive while creating a fun and inspiring environment that will help to produce future national football players."
Now in its seventh year, Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week aimed to reach as many women and girls across Scotland as possible. The Week is designed to show women that whatever their age, location or life stage, there is a sport or physical activity that’s right for them. Through this campaign, the hope is to help to boost their physical, mental and social health and for all women and girls to feel the benefits of being active.
The Week also provides an opportunity to promote the visibility and participation of women and girls as role models in sport and physical activity to help break down barriers and inspire women and girls to be active.
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Forbes Dunlop, said: “Women and Girls in Sport Week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the great work being delivered across the sporting system to encourage more women and girls to become physically active.
“This year has seen phenomenal performances from female athletes on the world stage, creating some incredible role models for young women and girls. But we know that there are equally inspirational role models in communities right across Scotland who work so hard to create opportunities for women and girls to find their own journey in sport, this week provides a great opportunity to celebrate their vital contribution.”
Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week took place from 2 – 8 October 2023.