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A This Girl Can review of 2023

Our strategic lead for campaigns shares the year's key moments of our nationwide enterprise to get all women and girls moving.

30th December 2023

by Kate Peers
Strategic lead for campaigns, Sport England

There’s nothing like seeing the end of the year approaching to reflect on the previous 12 months.

And what a year 2023 has been for This Girl Can, Sport England's campaign focusing on getting women and girls all over the country moving, no matter their ability, shape or size.

When I say this year has been eventful and impactful, it’s no exaggeration. Let me show you what I mean.  


Last February, we launched This Girl Can With You - our latest campaign across the sector and the foundation for all our work in 2023.

Our research showed that 2.4 million fewer women than men strongly agree they enjoy getting active – we call this ‘the enjoyment gap’ and it matters enormously, because enjoyment is one of the primary drivers of activity.

A group of women exercise outdoors wearing the This Girl Can range for Tesco

We focused on four key action areas that, if addressed, will help more women feel that getting active is a more satisfying, enjoyable experience.

Together, with those who make sport and physical activity happen, we’re working to ensure these experiences are more social, suitable, self-affirming and safe for women.

We also launched a new campaign hub, to house all the latest insight, tools and tips for organisations or individuals delivering on-the-ground experiences for women.


In April, we celebrated the success of Studio You winning the Active and Wellbeing Award at the prestigious Sport Industry Awards.

Studio You takes This Girl Can’s ethos and mission into schools as a streaming platform featuring more than 140 video PE lessons designed to appeal to the least active girls by widening the remit of traditional PE.

There’s nothing like seeing the end of the year approaching to reflect on the previous 12 months.

The following month, we launched our second industry guide, in partnership with ukactive, titled ‘‘How to make your spaces safer for women: A call to action from the 51%’’, to provide practical steps for facilities to help create an environment where women and girls feel safer and more confident being active.


At the start of the summer, we were determined to help women and girls get the most out of the warmer months with Make Your Summer Move – a PR campaign based on insight that nearly half of women were worried about showing their body while being active in the summer.

So we encouraged women to move in whatever way works for them, sharing tips on ways to help overcome some of the barriers to being active in the summer, plus case studies of amazing women getting active outdoors.

We launched an exciting new partnership with Tesco in July, with the release of an exclusive This Girl Can activewear range under the retailer’s in-house clothing brand F&F.

The partnership aimed to inspire women to enjoy an active life by providing a stylish and affordable clothing line, plus advice and opportunities to motivate them to start moving.

We also partnered with period care brand Bodyform to launch a period hub on the Studio You platform.

According to Youth Sport Trust, periods are the number one barrier to girls doing more sport and physical activity at school, so it was fitting to launch the first phase of the partnership with a television ad during the Women’s Euros using the tag line ‘no blood should hold us back’.


In October, we hosted a parliamentary roundtable discussion on women’s safety when being active outdoors, to coincide with the clocks going back and the hours of darkness increasing, as 46% of women say they change their outdoor exercise routine due to less daylight during the autumn and winter months.

We brought together parliamentarians, advocates, academics and representatives from across the sport and physical activity sector to consider what can be done to create safer spaces for women whilst being active outdoors, as well as addressing the barriers to change.

But that wasn't all.

We also rallied women in a 5km run around Westminster and central London as part of our Let’s Lift the Curfew PR activation, to amplify women’s voices on how they feel about being active outdoors during the darker months and to highlight that many women feel restricted by a perceived ‘curfew’ when it starts to get dark. 

As you can see, it’s been a busy year!

We look forward to continuing to work with our partners throughout 2024 to keep closing the enjoyment gap by ensuring sport and physical activity is social, suitable, self-affirming and safe for all women, and, as ever, sharing the amazing and inspiring stories and experiences of women being active.

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