The Active, Fit & sporty intervention has continued to see success in inspiring and motivating women and girls across Northern Ireland to get involved in sport and physical activity.

The first strand is the Women & Girls in Sport programme, with investment into six projects which aimed to deliver strengthened sporting structures, enabling more women and girls to participate in sport and physical activity. During 2017/18 this strand engaged with a total of 5020 participants, 2886 of whom were considered to be inactive prior to the intervention, and 27% of those who took part presenting with a disability. Across the six projects, a huge 2354 learning opportunities were provided, both to participants themselves and to sports clubs who are now better equipped in their offering to female participants. A total of 132 participation programmes took place during 2017/18, which overall involved 172 different stakeholders – including a variety of community groups, sports clubs, social economy and district council facilities.

The second strand is the Major Event Legacy Project, which was designed to build on the legacy of Northern Ireland hosting three major female sporting events during the summer of 2017 – the Uefa Women’s U19 European Football Championships, the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the GAA Feile Peile na nOg. This programme engaged a total of 3077 participants, 1657 of whom were considered to be inactive prior to participating. As this programme was concerned with building on the legacy of these events, it was essential that the sustainability of female clubs and competitions was ensured. There were 398 opportunities provided for volunteer training and 77 referee development opportunities. 41% of the women and girls involved were engaged in active volunteering, with 54% undertaking leadership training during the duration of this programme.

All the partner organisations met for an End of Year round up in April 2018, which allowed us all to see what fantastic work is ongoing to engage women & girls in sport across Northern Ireland. Each partner demonstrated the highlights of their project and also looked at what challenges there were in delivery, which included reflecting on how the offering for women and girls can be further improved in the future.