Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP and Scottish Government sports minister Maree Todd hails Caithness Rugby Club for work to increase women's participation
Maree Todd MSP has praised Caithness Rugby Club for its efforts in promoting women’s participation and inclusivity in the sport, following her recent visit to the clubhouse in Thurso.
Research from Sport Scotland shows that women and girls participate less in sport and physical activity than men and boys, with data showing that of all club members in Scotland (645,502), just 26 per cent are female.
Commenting, the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP said: “There are many barriers to women participating in sport, from body image to caring responsibilities to the costs associated with participation. Gendered perceptions and stereotyping around sports also play a role.
“As a keen rugby fan and a passionate advocate for women’s inclusion in sport, I was delighted to meet with some of the women and girls from the Caithness Rugby team and learn how they are breaking down barriers and perceptions in the sport.
“We had a candid discussion about the challenges facing women and girls in sport, as well as a conversation about the mental and social health advantages of participation.
“It was heartening to hear several members share how rugby, and the social aspect of sport, has positively impacted their mental health and overall wellbeing.”
The Scottish health survey showed a four-percentage point increase in women meeting the UK chief medical recommended levels of activity, increasing from 61 per cent to 65 per cent.
Commenting, Maree Todd said: “Although we’re making steady progress in closing the gap between levels of participation by men and women, it’s crucial that we continue to build on this to ensure sport is accessible and inclusive to everyone.
“Tackling inequalities, changing perceptions, improving the gender balance in Scotland’s governing sports bodies, and increasing the visibility of women’s sports in the media will all help us achieve this.
“Thank you to Caithness Rugby for hosting me – it’s great to see the club flourishing and to hear of the excellent pathways for women and girls in Caithness.”