Glasgow 2014: Games 'will boost number of women in sport'

Laura Trott
England's Laura Trott won gold in the women's points race

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will lead to an increase in the number of women taking part in sport, according to Minister for Sport Helen Grant.

Grant, speaking live from Glasgow on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, said role models such as English cyclist Laura Trott will boost the take-up of sports.

"We have a lot of work to do but we are doing it," she said.

"Laura Trott, Nicola Adams and Ellie Simmonds are the role models who can make that change happen."

The London Effect?
Government figures from 2012 showed 8.7 million women were playing sport or taking part in recreational walking or cycling for 30 minutes a weekMinister for Sport Helen Grant hopes for a further boost after the Games in Glasgow.
That is up from 7.7 million in 2005-06Source: www.gov.uk

Trott, 22, won gold in the women's points race in Glasgow, while 31-year-old Olympic champion Adams is competing in the women's boxing.

Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, 19, is absent as her event is not part of the Glasgow programme.

Grant said 500,000 more women are participating in sport today than before London made its bid for the 2012 Olympics, and she expected the number to increase again after the successes in Glasgow.

She said: "Women and girls will see other women performing and think 'I want to have a go'.

"There is a debate about women's sport now and they are becoming stars."

But Ruth Holdaway, chief executive of the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, said only 8% of 15-year-old girls are active enough and many are put off playing sport by their experiences at school.

"There are still major barriers for women participating in sport," she said.

"Unquestionably our role models do make a difference but the reality is that most young girls feel embarrassed at school when they take part in sport."

Listen again to Woman's Hour from Glasgow.

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