Today the world celebrates International Women’s Day 2021(IWD) and this year’s theme is to #choosetochallenge:
“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.
How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”
Table tennis is a sport for all to enjoy and participate in but there is still work to be done to address inequalities specifically related to gender.
Currently only 13% of the Table Tennis England membership is female, which is up 3.5% from last year. In addition, just 14% of table tennis coaches (L1-L4) and only 3.5% of League Chairs are female. However, on a positive note, 54% of Ping Pong Parlour participants and 30% of our TT Kidz programme participants are female.
We all have an important part to play in tackling these inequalities and Table Tennis England is committed to having a focus on working with the table tennis community to address gender inequality and forge plans to #levelthetable.
We have already taken steps towards addressing inequality, such as forming a diversity action panel, a women & girls discussion group and most recently, we have been closely working with the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) to identify how to optimise female player experience and keep women in the sport long term.
One of the key challenges in table tennis, and in many other sports, is how to get young girls active and to increase participation. Here’s how our research with TASS aims to gather insight to improve table tennis experience for young girls, and how we can keep them engaged in the sport.
Over the last few years, awareness and recognition of females in sport has grown considerably; the #ThisGirlCan campaign led by Sport England has been fundamental in changing attitudes around women in sport.
Throughout the day today we will be highlighting and celebrating fantastic women who are involved in table tennis and putting the spotlight on what women can achieve, and why we should support International Women’s Day!
In the coming weeks and months, we will also be revealing our next steps in how we aim to further increase female participation in our sport.
Keep an eye on our social media pages as well for some inspirational IWD content.