The launch of the Federation of Irish Sport’s 20X20 Campaign in Google yesterday was inspiring and left people walking out onto Barrow Street with a real sense of purpose. The trick now will be to maintain that for the length of the campaign through to 2020.

The three key strands of 20 per cent improvement are in media coverage, attendance and participation. They are attainable and raise the base of what we consider to be acceptable.

Clearly having full equality to the same extent as exists in education, voting, healthcare and the right to state services is the ultimate goal but you can rarely get anywhere in a single bound and so long as the improvements are seen as a minimum and not a ceiling in themselves then
forward motion in a measurable sense is what is most important.

Change cannot take place without a mix of the macro and the micro. It is up to organisations to encourage change but it is even more important that they do so not in autocratic fashion only but in response to demands from within.

That’s what makes it sustainable. That’s what makes it part of what is normal. That’s what makes it real.

The campaign asks all of those who support it to make a commitment themselves to effect the change that is needed. That starts at our individual door, whether in a personal or a business capacity.

In a personal sense, I have always given equal time to the coaching and mentoring of my two daughters sporting teams as to my two sons. They wouldn’t have it any other way and neither would we.

It presents challenges. This Saturday I would love to take both of my girls to the #WePlay event hosted by Swim Ireland at the National Sports Campus. Unfortunately, they have matches at 11 AM and 3 PM so attendance will likely have to be by social media rather than socially being there. It will be a case of We Play over #WePlay.

In a business sense, I am privileged to have built an audience in the world of sport and business where what we say can sometimes have an impact.

Our 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport, in partnership with Liberty Insurance, is well underway in its fifth year with the first ten named as of this morning.

The next 40, from a list of nominations that is already reaching beyond 100 will be revealed over the coming weeks ahead of our Annual Women in Sport Conference at the studios of RTÉ on December 5th.

But those activities are underway already. 20X20 asks more of us than what we are doing and pushes us towards what we can.

To that end Sport for Business will, from tomorrow, carry a new weekly column, the 20X20 Weekly which will serve as an opportunity to look at areas of the Women in Sport debate that might not make the news but in talking about them can make a difference.

We will seek to make it fresh and original, sometimes global, sometimes personal but always relevant and a Wednesday staple in the online media landscape.

It will also be an opportunity to give space to guest columnists to have their say. That could mean you. Email us today quoting 20X20 Weekly in the Subject line and let’s see what we might do in the coming weeks and months.

That’s the first of our commitments to this campaign. What’s yours?



Image Credit: Morgan Treacy,