Team Spirit: How These Companies Foster Positivity In Sport
Whether you only exercise when you’re running for a train, are a three-times-a-week gym goer or are mid-training for your fifth half marathon, we all have a relationship with sport. Up until recently, sport and exercise have traditionally been viewed as super-competitive, male-dominated arenas, with women and minority groups receiving less acclaim and pay for taking part. Research carried out by Sport England reveals that fewer women than men regularly play sport – two million fewer 14-40 year olds in total. Despite this, 75% of women say they want to be more active. The good news is that access and perceptions are changing all the time. Here’s our look at the positive changes taking place.
It’s not just Hollywood that’s raising awareness of the pay gap between men and women. In sport, the conversation is happening too, and encouragingly, things are improving. In cycling, riders competing in the Women’s Tour in June will win the same prize money as men in the Tour of Britain for the first time: the sponsor of both races has boosted the women’s prize fund from €35,000 to €90,000 in order to create financial parity.
Sometimes it’s the little things which can hold us back from getting involved, like being able to find clothes to work out and compete in which are designed specifically for women. The athleisure trend has helped support the emergence of better sportswear, and brands are springing up to provide women with comfortable, flattering, ethically-produced clothing. We like No Ka’Oi, which makes cruelty-free products, meets Positive Luxury’s criteria for water conversation, and pays its suppliers fairly.
The This Girl Can campaign saw everyday women show how important sport and exercise is to their sense of strength, health and beauty – and the Missy Elliot-soundtracked ad became a YouTube hit. Rather than promote images of perfection, their Feel Inspired hashtag pulls together inspirational shots of women exploring their physical limits.
If something’s holding you back from embracing exercise, charity Mind has set up the Get Set Go website, where they provide advice and inspirational stories to help people struggling to make a start with their fitness.
IT’S ANYONE’S GAME
This summer, The Gay Games will see thousands of competitors from around the world come together for eight days of sports, competitions, debate and celebration in Paris. The Gay Games were founded in 1982 in San Francisco by the late Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlon athlete. He wanted to offer an ‘Olympic-like’ experience to everyone, while eradicating discrimination and homophobia and breaking down stereotypes.
It now takes place every four years in cities around the world, such as San Francisco, Vancouver, New York, Amsterdam and Sydney, and thousands of athletes and artists are expected to participate in Paris – making a statement that sport should be open to everybody.
Like what you see? Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest in positive living. If you’ve enjoyed our article on mindfulness, you might also like to read ‘How To Be Body Confident Whatever Your Age’ and ‘Wellness and the Great Outdoors: A WildFitness Guide’