Launched last week, the Women’s Sports Trust (WST) is the first ever grant giving body specifically and solely focused on women’s sport. Aiming to raise the profile and perception of women in sport in the UK, the WST has set about campaigning for a world where strong, diverse female role models are highly visible rather than stuffed in the back pages of the sport section.
The WST is the brainchild of co-founders Tammy Parlour and Jo Bostock and in a very short space of time has built up a power house of trustees from all walks of life, patrons in the guise of Olympic rower Anna Watkins MBE and England footballer Kelly Smith MBE as well as an army of athlete supporters and media allies. The grants panel, who will have the difficult task of deciding who gets the grants, sees Olympic and Paralympic athletes, a Mumsnet CEO, lecturers, coaches and the Company Secretary & General Counsel at Santander to name a few trawling through the application shortlists.
Here’s just a few examples of causes the WST would consider supplying grants to:
- Kit for a women’s sports club
- Training to become a coach
- Childcare provision
- Specialist kit eg a racing wheelchair
- Sports research grants
- Travel expenses to get to competitions
- Court resurfacing
- Sports journalism courses
As you can tell, its quite a wide range of things, an example of the WST’s very open policy with regards to the use of the grants. So long as the request demonstrates the increased participation, media coverage, spectatorship or visibility of role models in women’s sport then the WST are open for grant application business. Currently the grants sit in four categories of £500, £1000, £2000 or £5000, however with the help and support of more businesses and organisations this can increase to help more females in the sporting world which in turn can lead to more visibility, coverage and participation.
The WST’s broad scope when accepting grant applications could have a lot to do with the fact that they don’t see themselves as just a grant giving body. They’re a movement organisation striving to level the playing field for women in sport.
The launch event further showed the impact raising the profile of women’s sport could have through the guests in the room. You had your athletes, journalists, faithful bloggers and sports PRs, however there were also representatives from positive body image organisations as well as the CEO of Mumsnet on the grants panel, demonstrating how many walks of life could be affected positively if we just provided more role models and raised the profile of women’s sport. This also wasn’t a strictly female event, the amount of men representing the organisations present at the launch was truly inspiring. See, they do care!
If you think you can help the WST in any way at all, from donating towards the grants to providing more coverage of their organisation then email email@example.com or visit www.womenssporttrust.com and join the movement.
Also stop right there and follow them on twitter @WomenSportTrust