Leading figures from the world of women and girls’ sport joined forced at Wembley Stadium recently for the launch of TeamUp in London. TeamUp is a ground-breaking initiative run jointly by the England & Wales Cricket Board, England Netball and England Hockey, to encourage more girls to play team sport. These three National Governing Bodies are each hosting their respective Women’s World Cup, in England, over the next three years. These occasions offer an ideal opportunity and incentive to give girls and women’s sport a major boost.
TeamUp seeks to link up schools with established clubs from the three sports within their local area to run more sessions and after-school clubs, offer better teacher training for PE and encourage girls to carrying on playing sport outside of their schools and through the clubs. Schools earn rewards for the level of activity they deliver, with the chance to earn never-to-be-repeated opportunities such as visits from international sportswomen to act as a mascot at one of the world cup matches.
Wembley National Stadium Trust (WNST) will be supporting the London-based TeamUp activities, with a grant of £225,000 per annum for the next three years. The funding will be split between the three National Governing Bodies, for them each to deliver a programme of activities in their sport across the capital. This grant will form the greater part of the Trust’s next three year London-wide grants programme, in succession to our previous London initiative which focused on disability sport.
The launch event at Wembley Stadium, compared by Sky Sports News anchor, Jane Dougall, began with a Q&A panel comprising the ECB Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, England Netball CEO, Joanna Adams, England Hockey CEO, Sally Munday and WNST CEO Stewart Goshawk, who offered more insight into the programme and background on the importance of taking part in team sport to develop broader life skills.
The audience were then entertained by the thoughts of England Hockey international Zoe Shipperley, England U21 netball star Georgina Fisher and past England Women’s cricketer and now BBC Test Match Special summariser Ebony Rainford-Brent. They shared reflections on what got them into sport in the first place and their memories of their school PE teachers who had inspired them to excel.