• Kenneth Gibson MSP

Sports Participation of Scottish Women on the Rise



Women across Scotland are benefiting from increased participation in sports, with over 10,000 more children and adults involved in sports clubs this year compared to 2016, following investment by the SNP Government, including an additional £2 million this year. In 2015-16, there were 197,691 female participants in sport, according to sportscotland. This rose to 208,602 a year later, with sports such as football seeing a significant rise to nearly 9,000 amongst girls, who will be further inspired by seeing the Scottish national team at this summer’s European Championships. Nearly 6,000 more girls participated in gymnastics this year, and nearly 2,000 more adult women are now playing tennis. Scotland has hosted a range of high profile sporting events in recent years, including the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, regular golf tournaments and Davis Cup tennis, while 2018 sees Glasgow play host to the European Championships and in 2020 Hampden is hosting games at the UEFA European Championships. Commenting, Kenneth Gibson said: “The increase in the number of girls playing football is really positive and we can only expect this to increase even more following the Scottish national teams’ appearance at the European Championships this summer, the first senior Scottish football side to play in a major tournament since 1998. “It is not just more children participating in sports, as more adult women got involved in athletics, hockey, rugby and more. “Sporting participation has a hugely positive impact on people of all ages, encouraging healthy living and good habits amongst young people and helping adults keep fit throughout their lives. The positives that sport and exercise can have for things such as a person’s mental health also can’t be ignored. “SNP Government efforts are undoubtedly helping bring about this increase, whether through investment or from supporting the hosting of events such as Glasgow 2018 or the Davis Cup. “Scotland is an increasingly sporting nation and I am delighted to see more women of all ages having the opportunity to be part of this rich sporting culture.” All figures from sportscotland: Total female participation 2015-16: 197,691 Total female participation 2016-17: 208,602 Athletics Adult: Junior: 2015-16 1,853 2015-16 3,347 2016-17 1,959 2016-17 3,440 Basketball Adult: Junior: 2015-16 565 2015-16 1,213 2016-17 799 2016-17 1,406

Football Junior: 2015-16 7,641 2016-17 8,897 Gymnastics Junior: 2015-16 13,328 2016-17 19,044 Hockey Adult: Junior: 2015-16 2,480 2015-16 1,275 2016-17 2,531 2016-17 2,459

Netball Junior: 2015-16 2,262 2016-17 2,935 Rugby Union Adult: 2015-16 1,122 2016-17 1,402 Tennis Adult: 2015-16 12,586 2016-17 14,396 ENDS