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Women and Girls


You may have spotted the nationwide campaign launched by Sport England in January which aims to get more women and girls out enjoying sport and physical activity. The campaign is based on research undertaken by Sport England which revealed that the overwhelming factor holding women and girls back from exercising was fear of judgment. This included aspects relating to appearance, ability or how they chose to spend time on themselves.

This is a great opportunity for your club or centre to link to the campaign and attract more women and girls into canoeing. The number of women now canoeing has increased by 56% since 2002- but still only represent 39% of the overall number of people who go paddling each year*.  

Not heard of the recent nationwide campaign? watch the video on You Tube.

(* Watersport Participation Survey)

British Canoeing is committed to increasing the number of females participating in Paddlesport as well as encouraging those already taking part to stay in the sport by providing greater opportunities and information for those already hooked!

There are many women out there who currently enjoy and participate in Paddlesport. Many more have the desire but are not sure how to start and a huge number unaware of what they are missing out on.

Did you know….?  

  • Women and girls respond better to the social, health and well-being characteristics of sport rather than competition.  
  • Adolescent females place greater emphasis on self-comparison and comments from adults than do adolescent males, who rely more on competitive outcomes as their basis for personal judgement of physical competence.
  • Girls, on average, have less self-confidence than boys and rate their performance or ability more negatively than boys
  • Self Confidence is also linked to competition. Although some women enjoy the competitive element of sport, many girls and women are turned off sport because it’s competitive.
  • For many girls training is too time consuming, boring and repetitive
  • For women and girls the relationship between body image and physical activity is a vicious circle; the more self conscious they feel about their bodies, the less likely they are to take part in sport, and yet, participation in sport has a positive effect on girls’ perceptions of their bodies.


Women Sport and Fitness Foundation - Ultimate Sports Kit

An online toolkit to help you deliver sports and fitness programmes for women and girls. The kit is made up of a number of downloadable sections and you can choose which sections best suit the needs of your particular activity. The toolkit includes information covering the following areas:
  • Thinking about your audience
  • Breaking through barriers
  • Planning your programme
  • Tips for leaders
  • The basics of marketing
  • Example Press Release
  • Targeting older Women

How can Sports Clubs attract and retain Women and Girls?

Coaching Females

Sports Coach UK have a number of factsheets and guidance aimed at coaches who coach women or who are interested in coaching them in the future. The following fact sheets are available:

  • Myth Buster: Coaching Women
  • Women and Informal Sport Factsheets
  • Women and Informal Sport Research Report
  • Female Psychology and Coaching Considerations
  • Female Physiology and Coaching Considerations
  • Recruiting Female Coaches
  • Coaches and Qualifications: Developing Female Coaches

British Canoeing Guidance documents, articles and Case Studies

CE Guidance for Clubs

CE Guidance on running a successful Women & Girls development day