20x20 Highlights Women in Sport

20x20 Highlights Women in Sport

The 20x20 campaign to create a measurable shift in the perception of women in sport in Ireland finished up this week. The campaign has had some great impact: 

  • 80% of the population are more of aware of women’s sport since the launch of 20x20
  • 61% are more likely to support women’s sport since the launch of 2020
  • 75% of men say 20x20 changed their mindset positively towards women’s sport
  • 42% of women say they are participating in more sport and physical activity than in 2018 due to awareness of 20x20
  • 50% of the population and 60% of females say they would be more inclined to purchase from brands that support women’s sport

Irish Sailing are proud to be involved in the 20x20 campaign and our Sport Ireland Women in Sport Take the Helm programme, enouraging more women to take on positions of leadership on board and in boards.

A key objective for 20x20 was to make women’s sport a bigger part of Irish culture by making it more visible. Research commissioned by 20x20 and conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, details significant success here with 80% of Irish adults - rising to 84% of Irish men - saying they are more aware of women’s sport now, than before the movement launched two years ago. Three quarters of those surveyed also say they believe that women’s sport is seen as cooler. Of those aware of the campaign, 73% - rising to 75% of men - say that 20x20 changed their mindset positively towards girls and women in sport, with 68% stating they support women in sport more because of 20x20, and 42% of women saying they now participate in more sport because of the movement.

Despite this progress though, women’s sport still lags far behind men’s sport when it comes to participation, attendance and media coverage. In terms of media coverage, research conducted by Nielsen at the outset of the campaign, found that just 4% of sport’s online coverage and 3% of sport’s print coverage was dedicated to women’s sport. By the end of 2019, each of these had grown by 2%, up to 5% for online and 6% for print. TV coverage of women’s sport meanwhile saw a 40% decrease in the same period, even though coverage of women’s sport grew across both RTÉ and TG4. Despite the decline in coverage levels, audience of women’s sport on TV grew from 7% in 2018 to 18% in 2019. Participation grew by 13% while attendance in women’s sport increased by 17% during this period.

Some other key findings came out of the research, including the fact that 73% of the general population (and 80% of sports fans) agreed that ‘greater visibility of women’s sports and athletes is crucial to grow women’s sport’. Similarly, over 3 in 4 of the general population believe sponsors should invest in both versions of sport and that sponsors should support women’s sport. Indeed, fans show higher purchase intentions for brands who sponsor women’s sport, with half of the population, - and 60% of females - also saying that they would be more inclined to purchase from brands that support women’s sport.

Irish Sailing Women at the Helm brings women together each year to compete in dinghies and keelboats or to enjoy the freedom of cruising. Contact Gail if you are interested in bringing Take The Helm to your club, class, centre of your family and friends. We help you take the helm.



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