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A new volunteer campaign to encourage schoolgirls to pursue a career in sport has been launched.
Female leaders from the world of sport including; BT Sport broadcaster Clare Balding, world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and Minister for Sport Helen Grant will today join Inspiring Women founder Miriam González Durántez at BT Tower to launch Inspiring Women in Sport.
Backed by BT Sport, Inspiring Women in Sport is calling upon females working in this sector to pledge one hour a year to talk with girls in state schools nationally about forging a career in this traditionally male dominated industry.
As a curtain-raiser for the campaign, 30 schoolgirls from Queensmead School, Hillingdon will today participate in a one hour ‘career speed networking’ session at the top of BT Tower with influential women from sports governing bodies, professional athletes and sports media.
More career speed networking sessions will take place across the country - including a showcase event at London Aquatics Centre on 25 February - during Inspiring Women in Sport Week - 23 February to 1 March 2015. The week is part of the wider Inspiring Women campaign, run by charity the Education and Employers Taskforce, which already has 12,300 volunteers across all sectors.
Clare Balding, BT Sport presenter, said: "There are so many exciting opportunities in sport and I want to help girls and young women realise the full range available to them - whether it's a career in broadcasting, journalism, event management, coaching, marketing, physiotherapy, sports science or governance.
"There are so many options and with an exciting year of women's sport ahead, the timing couldn't be better to inspire a new generation of women to get involved."
Miriam González Durántez, Inspiring Women founder and champion, said: "Sport is as important to girls as it is to boys. It should have no gender boundaries. There are amazing women whose names have made history in sport and there are many more women, less well known, who have fulfilling sport careers.
“We ask for all those women, for all girls all across the country, their sports team mates, their friends, their sport teachers...please join us at the Inspiring Women Sports Week between 21 Feb and 1 March and help us to inspire a new generation of girls looking at sport as something that ‘is also for them’."
Helen Grant, Minister for Sport, says: "This is a perfect opportunity to nurture and encourage the sporting talents of our young women.
"Female role models such as Clare Balding, Christine Ohuruogu, Kelly Smith and Stacey Copeland have made huge progress in the world of sport and are ideally positioned to inform and inspire the next generation of girls and women to follow in their footsteps.
"Sport should not discriminate, it should be inclusive – so show your support and back this campaign by getting involved in these inspiring events."
Delia Bushell, Managing Director of BT TV and Sport , said: "BT Sport is delighted to be principal partner for Inspiring Women in Sport and to be hosting the launch. We actively support and showcase women in sport across our channels and this volunteering campaign to encourage girls to consider a career in sport is an extension of that commitment.”
For media enquiries and to arrange interviews please contact Carol Glover, Communications Manager, Education and Employers Taskforce on 07939 061 850 or email [email protected]
Follow the campaign on Twitter: @Edu_Employers using tag #womeninsport