Welsh Sportswomen Demand Media Equality

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson

Calls for greater coverage of women's sport in media

A group including some of the most prominent female figures in Welsh sport are supporting calls for greater media coverage of female sport.

In an open letter sent to BBC Cymru Wales, ITV Wales, S4C and Media Wales, Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Commonwealth Games gold medallists Jazz Carlin and Frankie Jones, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and former Olympic champion Nicole Cooke have raised concerns about the coverage and visibility of Welsh female athletes and their sports across the Welsh media landscape.

They recommend steps such as dedicated leaders for women's sport that drive editorial and prominence given to coverage of female sport on digital and print media.

Ahead of International Women's Day, they highlight research undertaken by the Women in Sport organisation, which shows:
"Despite the success at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, replicated at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, women's sport accounted for just 7% of the sport we read about, watch or listen to in the UK and just over 10% of television coverage, which is owed in large part to coverage of women's tennis. Whilst these figures represent a UK study, we do not believe that they are unrepresentative of the picture in Wales and are deeply concerning."

The letter follows the recent decision by BBC Cymru Wales to decommission the Sport Wales programme and lose a number of posts from the organisation's sport department.

The letter goes on to read:

"Unfortunately what we have seen so far has been a replication of the same sports dominating both digital and mainstream media coverage.

"We believe that sport plays a special role in Welsh identity. For so long it has defined us on a world stage, through the feats of a wide range of athletes. This heritage should be celebrated and the future World, Olympic and Paralympic champions given the spotlight. We believe that this is at risk if a rebalancing of coverage is not achieved"

The full list of names supporting the letter:

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson
Non Evans (multi-sport)
Anne Ellis (Commonwealth Games Council for Wales and Welsh Sports Association)
Olivia Breen (athletics)
Caroline Spanton (rugby)
Jess Fishlock (football)
Frankie Jones (gymnastics)
Manon Carpenter (cycling)
Jazz Carlin (swimming)
Michaela Breeze (weightlifting)
Anne Adams King (Welsh Cycling CEO and former Olympic swimmer)
Helen Phillips (Commonwealth Games Council for Wales)
Suzy Drane (netball)
Sarah Jones (Welsh Netball CEO)
Sarah Powell (Sport Wales CEO)
Laura McAllister (Chair Sport Wales)
Nicole Cooke (cycling)
Sarah Thomas (hockey)
Jayne Ludlow (football)
Non Stanford (triathlon)


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