Irish Perceptions of Women’s Sport

Over the coming days we will be sharing insights that emerged from our Women in Sport Conference on Wednesday at RTÉ.

Yesterday we shared your reactions from social media on some of the themes and topics being considered by our top class panels and the knowledge bursts that were delivered over the morning.

One of those was from Megan McDonnell of RTÉ Audience Insights. As part of this event they went to their audience panel to ask specific questions about the perception of the general public towards Women’s sport across a range of areas.

What emerged was a picture that suggests a much more positive attitude in Ireland than exists through similar international research.

Irish audiences look on Women’s sport as being more inspiring, more progressive and much ‘cleaner’ in terms of integrity, as well as much less driven by money.

Perhaps this is down to the surge of Ladies Football in particular and coloured in some ways by the exploits of the Hockey team but it will be interesting to track to see if this was a one year spike or if those levels are sustainable.

The biggest difference between Ireland and other countries would appear to lie in the credit being given to Women’s sport in terms of skill, competitiveness and quality.

The Men’s games are considered to be higher in each of those scores but only by a narrow margin and the indications are that while strength and speed may be physiologically impossible to create equality in, that we have come around to the conclusion that they are not the be all and end all of sporting achievement.

Through next week we will look at more research from Clubforce on participation, on the contribution of sponsors Lidl and Liberty Insurance, on the campaigns from 20X20 and WePlayStrong that are changing perceptions and on the theme that I felt kept on recurring across the different areas, that of confidence.


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