A panel hosted by leading Irish law firm William Fry LLP heard last week that ensuring greater access is a key priority for women’s sport in Ireland going forward.

The event, which marked International Women’s Day, was held at William Fry’s offices at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin.

The panel featured Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD; World Rugby Council Member Su Carty, and former Irish Rugby player and All Ireland winner with Dublin Lindsay Peat. It was moderated by RTÉ broadcaster Marie Crowe.

“Inclusivity is essential in cultivating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for clubs,” said Carty.

“It is not just about the players on the pitch, we need more females in coaching and leadership roles in our clubs. Sport can play such a vital role in a young girl’s life, making it easy to access and engaging more female voices is vital to drive women’s sports to new levels in Ireland.”

“In working towards our shared goal of greater access for women in sport, I have introduced new rules to ensure that Government funding will not go towards sports facilities which fail to provide similar access between men and women, in addition to ensuring 40% gender representation on boards in the Irish sports sector,” said Minister Byrne.

“From the grassroots to the boardroom, I am determined to ensure that women are represented at every level of sport, and benefit from equal opportunities to participate.”

“While there have undoubtedly been inherent biases that have been there for generations, a lot of good things have been done,” added Peat.

“We can begin to see the results of so much good work, but the real difference will be seen by younger generations. It’s incumbent on us all to ensure as much of that generation as possible are witnesses to these changes. The sky is the limit. And why not?”

“Women’s sport in Ireland has been thriving over the last number of years,” concluded Catherine O’Flynn, Diversity and Inclusion Partner at William Fry and Co-Chair of the Sports and Entertainment Group.

“It’s given young girls more role models to follow as they pursue careers in sport.”

“Despite recent success, greater access can always be afforded to more females in more corners of the country. Finding ways of reaching these girls and women is the next great task for women’s sport.”


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