This Girl Can with Sport England

Sport England, the English Sports Council, is running “This Girl Can”, a campaign to get more women and girls active, whatever their age, shape or ability. The campaign began in October with media and celebrity partnerships, social media and events and continues with television commercials, billboards, cinema and shopping centre screens featuring images of real women exercising without shame. Taglines include “I kick balls Deal with it”, “Sweating like a pig feeling like a fox”, “I swim because I love my body not because I hate it”, “I jiggle therefore I am”, “I’m slow but I’m lapping everyone on the couch”, and “Hot and not bothered”. The campaign is online at and Facebook, with background information on four women featured in the campaign, tips on how to get active and connection with online discussion on the themes raised.

Sport England This Girl Can

The campaign doesn’t hold back in trying to encourage women to beat their barriers. “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox” and “I kick balls, deal with it” are among the hard-hitting lines used.

Sport England I Kick Balls

Sport England Sweating

Sport England I Swim because I love my body

Sport England I Jiggle

Sport England I'm Slow

Sport England Hot and Not Bothered

The This Girl Can campaign was inspired by Sports England research revealing that fewer women than men play sport regularly in the UK, two million fewer 14-40 year olds in total. Despite this, 75 per cent say they want to be more active. In some other European countries, this disparity doesn’t exist. Further research into what’s stopping women turning their ambitions into reality found that a fear of judgement – on appearance, ability or how they chose to spend time on themselves – puts women of all ages off exercising.

Sport England CEO Jennie Price, said: “The figures on participation are crystal clear. There is a significant gender gap, with two million more men than women exercising or playing sport regularly. I believe we can tackle this gap, because our research shows that 75% of women would like to do more.

“Before we began this campaign, we looked very carefully at what women were saying about why they felt sport and exercise was not for them. Some of the issues, like time and cost, were familiar, but one of the strongest themes was a fear of judgement. Worries about being judged for being the wrong size, not fit enough and not skilled enough came up time and again.

“Every single woman I have talked to about this campaign – and that is now hundreds – has identified with this, and it is that fear of not being ‘good enough’ in some way, and the fear that you are the only one who feels like that, that we want to address.”

Sport England These Girls Can - interactive site

Sport England These Girls Can - interactive site

Sporting activities featured on the ThisGirlCan site are boxing, canoeing, climbing, cycling, dodgeball, football, hockey, lacrosse, netball, orienteering, rowing, running, spinning, squash, surfing, swimming, tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and zumba.

Sport England These Girls Can - interactive site

Sport England These Girls Can - interactive site

Real Women

“In This Girl Can we want to tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport. They come in all shapes and sizes and all levels of ability. They have a myriad of reasons for doing what they do. If you are wondering if you should join them – or carry on – this campaign says it really doesn’t matter if you are a bit rubbish or completely brilliant, the main thing is that you are a woman and you are doing something, and that deserves to be celebrated.”

Eight short films provide insights into real women: Julie vs Inhibitions, Grace vs Pace, Victoria vs Sweat and Kelly vs Mummy.


The This Girl Can campaign was developed at FCB Inferno, London, by executive creative director Al Young, creative director Bryn Attewell, copywriter Simon Cenamor, art director Raymond Chan, managing director Sharon Jiggins, agency producer Ally Mee, planning director Vicki Holgate and account director Hollie Loxley working with Sport England CEO Jennie Price.

Media was handled at Carat.

Filming was shot by director Kim Gehrig via Somesuch & Co, London, with executive producer Tim Nash, producer Lee Groombridge, director of photography David Procter, production designer Helen Scott, costume designer Hannah Edwards, casting director Leanne Flinn.

Editor was Tom Lindsay at Trim with producers Andrew McLintock and Adam Sergent. Post production was done at Framestore by Flame artists Paul O’Brien and Tri Do, colourist Simon Bourne and producer Adam Sargent.

Audio post production was by Wave Studios. Sound and music were produced at Soundtree. The commercial is set to the track “Get Your Freak On” by Missy Elliot.

  • Sam McMillan

    I applaud the effort, but the execution of the copy is just sooooo lame. “Hot And Not Bothered.” Please. Who writes this drivel. Oh, right. It’s a guy. Next time, if you are going to tell a woman’s story, maybe it might be a good idea to hire a woman to do it?