SailGP brings Women’s Sports Group on board to aid Women’s Pathway
SailGP, a global sailing competition with a heavy focus on sustainability, has linked up with the Women’s Sports Group (WSG) to boost its ‘Women’s Pathway’ initiative.
The scheme was introduced in 2021 and has been driving gender equity in the sport of sailing, encouraging inclusion and the provision of more opportunities for women at elite level.
Through the initiative, female athletes have benefited from training and development opportunities, to guide them towards racing at the highest level.
WSG was co-founded by the English Football Association’s (FA) first female non-executive director and former chair of the FA inclusion advisory board, Dame Heather Rabbatts. The partnership will see WSG provide advisory services on commercial partnerships to accelerate the progress of SailGP’s ‘Women’s Pathway’ and aid the series’ sustainable growth.
“Sports fans around the world have been captivated by this summer’s Women’s Football World Cup, Wimbledon and the Women’s Ashes and it’s been fantastic to see more commercial investment propelling these sports to new heights and reaching new audiences,” said Fiona Morgan, Chief Purpose Officer at SailGP.
“Through the ‘Women’s Pathway’, SailGP has one of the best opportunities in sport to break existing boundaries, change culture and have a gender equitable league which I’m incredibly excited about. It’s great to be working with WSG, who share our vision of creating a sustainable, inclusive competition, and together, we will secure further commercial partners to drive this vision forward.”
"SailGP is a championship that places sustainability and gender equity at its core, and through commercial partnerships, we aim to accelerate and enhance the opportunities for female sailors."
The Spain Sail Grand Prix in October 2021 provided a watershed moment in SailGP’s efforts to bring gender equity to the sport. It was the first time SailGP’s nine national teams competed with a female athlete during racing. Since that moment, female athletes have been onboard in 100% of races. Some 29 female athletes have now raced onboard the hydrofoiling F50, including the most successful female sailor in Olympic history, Hannah Mills OBE.
SailGP is aiming to have a female driver win a SailGP event by Season 6, with half of the F50s in the fleet boasting at least two female athletes onboard during racing.
Rabbatts added: “We are delighted to be working with SailGP to secure authentic partnerships that not only increase investment in the sport but also amplify the work SailGP and its teams have done to drive equity and inclusion.
“SailGP is a championship that places sustainability and gender equity at its core, and through commercial partnerships, we aim to accelerate and enhance the opportunities for female sailors, providing a platform for these incredible athletes and inspiring the next generation.”