University’s contribution to gender equity in sport praised by IWG network


LEADING figures from the world’s largest sporting network for women have paid tribute to the University of Chichester for its commitment to improving gender equity in sport.

Pioneers from the IWG, the International Working Group on Women and Sport, met with academics to discuss plans to develop scholarly research to challenge global issues faced by women. It builds on the two organisations’ existing partnership, initiated through the work of the Anita White Foundation (AWF) based at the University, which established an archive at Chichester to preserve the heritage of the IWG.

Co-chair Raewyn Lovett was joined by secretary general Rachel Froggatt for the meeting in Chichester which also discussed developing the AWF’s International Women and Sport Archive and sharing expertise. The leaders had travelled to the UK from New Zealand, which will host the IWG’s global secretariat for the next four years and the IWG World Conference in 2022.

Ms Froggatt said: “The IWG has partnered with the University since 2011, and we are looking forward to building on the relationship across the next four years while the secretariat is in New Zealand. We will be looking at research activity and academic programmes at Chichester, which will help us achieve best practice in our work.”

Ms Lovett added: “The archive at Chichester is a fantastic tool for women in sport generally but is extremely important for the IWG to document its history. We want to create a place where researchers can go and develop their work so that we can inspire a new generation of leaders. To count on the support of the University of Chichester to help tell our story is very important.”

The IWG was formed from the first world conference on women and sport in 1994, and has since become the world’s leading voice in empowering women and girls in sport. The University’s close relationship with IWG has allowed academics to present at its world conference, held every four years, which is the largest gathering of experts on gender equity in sport and physical activity.

Academics from Chichester have been leading on academic research and the development of women sport leaders through the AWF’s key projects. The Foundation provides a focal-point for scholars and activists by preserving the heritage of women and sport through the Archive, developing future women leaders of sport from the UK and overseas, primarily through the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy (WSLA), and conducting and facilitating research and scholarship on women and sport.

Dr Lucy Piggott, a Research Fellow for Women and Sport at the University, said: “We’ve had a strong relationship with the IWG for nearly ten years. We are helping to get more people aware of and interested in the challenges women face in the sporting world, which is extremely important.”

Senior Lecturer Dr Jordan Matthews, the coordinator for the AWF, said: “It’s great to welcome the IWG back to Chichester, and this meeting demonstrates the University’s legitimacy for women in sport. The partnership we share is developing the network that helps spread awareness of the challenges that women face worldwide in sport.”

For more about the International Working Group, and its commitment to empowering women and girls in sport, go to To read more about the Anita White Foundation, and how it provides opportunities for women in sport worldwide, visit

Photo caption (front left to right): AWF Coordinator Dr Jordan Matthews, IWG co-chair Raewyn Lovett, Research Fellow for Women and Sport Dr Lucy Piggott, IWG Secretary General Rachel Froggatt, and AWF Chair-Elect Dr Suzie Everley who also leads sport social-sciences at the University’s Institute of Sport.

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