Six months in and making a huge difference, Telegraph Women’s Sport Editor Anna Kessel writes for Newsworks about how it has evolved.
When we launched Telegraph Women’s Sport in March we created a manifesto:
- To address the under-representation of women’s sport through increased editorial coverage in digital and print media
- Campaign on key issues to inspire women’s participation in sport from grass roots to elite level, and hold to account those responsible for its development and organisation
- Grow audiences by investing in specialist women’s sport journalists and encouraging more female bylines
We couldn’t have hoped for a better start. One of our star columnists, Dina Asher-Smith, has proved that you can go from arts graduate to World Champion in the 200m. The positive impact of which will be felt for many years to come. The former education secretary, Damian Hinds, has said that our Girls, Inspired campaign has “been really important and helpful” and that “we need to get this message to everybody”. Figures published this week by Enders Analysis showed that The Telegraph publishes 29 per cent more women’s sport coverage than any other newsbrand which equates to an average 3.4 women’s sport articles per edition.
Editorially, we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved. Highlighting how age, physique, class and disabilities are no barriers in sport. How even female MPs are united across the Brexit divide playing football. Plus, shining a light on taboo subjects such as periods and the menopause in a bid to end the stigma. Over the summer, notable for key women’s sport events football and netball World Cups as well as Wimbledon, we were praised by the Women’s Sport Trust for achieving near parity in our coverage, our website leading on stories about women’s sport for 45% of the days. Plus, we were the first publisher to produce a dedicated supplement for the FA’s now fully professional Women’s Super League (WSL).
There is still much more that we want to do though. There is a severe lack of good imagery for sportswomen. We need to change the language used around women’s sport and we need to continue to campaign for more teenage girls to take part in exercise. Currently that figure stands at just 8%. The good news is, we have broken the commercial stalemate. By investing in women’s sport coverage we have seen brands follow suit. We have worked with Visa around the women’s football World Cup, Kia around the women’s Ashes and Skoda around women’s cycling to name but a few.
Click here to see what we have been up to and if your brand is interested in getting more people excited about women’s sport, email [email protected] Head Of Sports Sponsorship at The Telegraph or call him on 020 7931 3348.