Surf Snowdonia has announced that it will dedicate the whole of June 2018 to an initiative aimed at encouraging more women and girls to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.
Their ‘Girls on Board’ initiative will feature a busy 30-day programme of female-focused events, activities, workshops and discounts, all designed to get more women and girls engaged in a sport or activity they love.
The world-first inland surf hub in the Conwy Valley is working with local teams, clubs and other organisations to introduce women and girls to a wide spectrum of sports and activities, suitable for all ages and ability levels.
Organisations taking part in the initiative include Network She, the Network She Foundation, Wales Rugby Union, Sported, Our Squad, Swim Wales, Cricket Wales, Girl Guiding Cymru and The Outdoor Partnership.
Andy Ainscough, managing director at Surf Snowdonia said:
“Our ambition is to get as many women and girls as we can to come out and try something new with some of the great teams and organisations that exist in North Wales. Our Surf Academy is led by a great role model – Welsh Champion Surfer Jo Dennison – and nurturing female talent is something we take seriously, especially in what has traditionally been a male-dominated sport.”
Jo Dennison, who as well as being head of water operations at Surf Snowdonia won the Welsh National Surfing Championship title for a sixth time on Saturday 5th May, said:
“Since our waves started rolling in August 2015, we’ve made some great friends in the North Wales outdoor, fitness and wellbeing sector. Girls on Board is a brilliant opportunity for us to make some great introductions and encourage and support women and girls who would like to try something new.”
Highlights of the Girls on Board month include:
Saturday 2nd June: activities showcase at Surf Snowdonia. A friendly drop in opportunity for women and girls to meet local clubs, teams and organisations and try out new activities.
Thursday 21st June: Women in Sport Conference, delivered in partnership with Network She. A free-to-attend one-day conference celebrating women in sport and challenging stereotypes. Featuring guest speakers from the world of sport, including from Wales Rugby Union, Sported, Our Squad, Cricket Wales, Welsh Athletics, Sisters with Blisters and many more.
Saturday 23rd June: A Gin and Prosecco festival with mixologist masterclasses.
Throughout the month of June: Bring-a-friend-for-free offer on beginner surf lessons for women and girls. Discounts for clubs and teams who would like to try a beginner surf session.
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.
Ruth Lloyd-Williams, founder and director of Network She, the North Wales business organisation which is bringing the Women in Sport conference to Surf Snowdonia, said:
“Network She is passionate about supporting women and girls in sport, empowering them to participate in a range of activities whatever their ability or age. We are thrilled to be showcasing the range of amazing sports that we all have access to in North Wales, and we’re looking forward to introducing our fabulous guest speakers at our inaugural conference for Women in Sport, North Wales.”