The FISU Gender Equality Awards honour projects or individuals who have made significant efforts to advance and achieve gender equality within university sport in their country, continent or internationally.
FISU supports projects that increase the participation of women in university sport and encourages its members to develop these projects to help inspire others to increase their efforts and resources committed to this topic.
The shortlisted entry for UoN Sport was the Girls’ Night In for the 2021 Gender Equality Project Award. The Girls’ Night In project was devised in the Summer of 2015 after female inactivity and wellbeing was identified as an area that could be improved within the UoN Sport offer to students with female (and those identifying as female), with a focus on first year and international students as a key target group. The aim turns all female students into high level competitors, but also to give them a chance to try different sports, make new friendships, support their wellbeing, and build their self-confidence around getting involved and taking part in activities outside of their comfort zone.
Being ran twice a year, the project involves a takeover of the £40million David Ross Sports Village and provides female students with the opportunity to try out a series of sample sessions in an environment that is fun, free, safe, and inclusive. With a focus on first year students, the event also looks to support students’ integration into university at a vital transition point in their life. This is achieved through facilitating cross-cultural engagement and the opportunity to develop friendship groups which help students establish their support networks and secure a sense of belonging.
Daniella Dutton, Participation Sports Officer & GNI Event Lead, commented:
“It's a great honour to have been shortlisted for this award. It truly reflects our visions and aspiration to deliver an inclusive experience for all our students on campus. We will never undervalue the role that sport and physical activity has to play in empowering females to do their best.”
Since the event was launched, over 2100 female students have accessed the event. Sports Clubs have reported that following Girls’ Night In events, they have seen growth in club membership and people getting involved with their sessions. There are also now more female students taking part in the Just Play Programme, an all-year round programme of introductory sport sample sessions (54% female, 46% male).
Samantha Bell-Minogue, Assistant Director of Sport (Participation), speaking to UoN Sport about the announcement said:
“At the University we are committed to supporting Equality, diversity and inclusion for each of our students. Creating an EDI rich culture is a priority for us and this award is a great recognition of UoN Sports commitment and understanding of the value of empowering female students to look after their physical and mental health and wellbeing. ”
We must also commend British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) for their shortlisted nominations. The first of their shortlisted entries was the BUCS and FA Women’s Leadership Programme for the 2021 Gender Equality Project Award. First delivered in 2019, it identified a gap in the women’s talent development pathway, which was a barrier to their aims for increasing female workforce representation within The Football Association (FA). Furthermore, Beth Jenkinson-Garner, BUCS Women and Girl’s Football Development Officer, has been nominated for the Gender Equality Champion Award. Beth’s main focus is to utilise football as a vehicle to enhance lives, creating more participation opportunities for female students to engage with universities across the UK.
The award winners will be announced on 30 October, we would like to congratulate all the shortlisted entries for the fantastic work they have done in improving gender equality and championing women’s sport.
As well as a reputation for academic excellence, we have a history of sporting success and are passionate about supporting sporting opportunities during a student's time at the University of Nottingham. From beginner sport and halls sport leagues through to volunteering in our leadership academy, we have a wide variety of opportunities to help students get active. To find out more, please click here.
Posted on Wednesday 13th October 2021