Inspiring Women in Sport, a new volunteer campaign which is backed by BT Sport and encourages schoolgirls to pursue a career in sport, launched at BT Tower on Tuesday.
Female leaders from the world of sport, including BT Sport’s Clare Balding, world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and Minister for Sport Helen Grant joined Inspiring Women founder Miriam González Durántez for the launch.
Inspiring Women in Sport is calling upon females working in the sector to pledge one hour a year to talk with girls in state schools nationally about forging a career in this traditionally male-dominated industry.
(L-R) Miriam Gonzalez, BT Sport's Clare Balding, Basildon Upper Academy student Megan Johnson, Delia Bushell and Minister for Sport Helen Grant at the Inspiring Women in Sport launch
As a curtain-raiser for the campaign, 30 schoolgirls from Queensmead School, Hillingdon participated in a one-hour ‘career speed networking’ session at the top of BT Tower with influential women from sports governing bodies, professional athletes and sports media.
More career speed networking sessions will take place across the country - including a showcase event at London Aquatics Centre on February 25 - during Inspiring Women in Sport Week, which takes place from February 23 to March 1, 2015.
Miriam González Durántez, Inspiring Women founder and champion, said: "Sport is as important to girls as it is to boys. It should have no gender boundaries.
“There are amazing women whose names have made history in sport and there are many more women, less well known, who have fulfilling sport careers.
“We ask for all those women, for all girls all across the country, their sports team-mates, their friends, their sport teachers...please join us at the Inspiring Women Sports Week between February 21 and March 1 and help us to inspire a new generation of girls looking at sport as something that ‘is also for them’."
Helen Grant, Minister for Sport, says: “This is a perfect opportunity to nurture and encourage the sporting talents of our young women.
“Female role models such as Clare Balding, Christine Ohuruogu, Kelly Smith and Stacey Copeland have made huge progress in the world of sport and are ideally positioned to inform and inspire the next generation of girls and women to follow in their footsteps.
“Sport should not discriminate, it should be inclusive – so show your support and back this campaign by getting involved in these inspiring events.”
Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and Sport, said: “BT Sport is delighted to be principal partner for Inspiring Women in Sport and to be hosting the launch.
“We actively support and showcase women in sport across our channels and this volunteering campaign to encourage girls to consider a career in sport is an extension of that commitment.”