Her Sport has been awarded a place in the esteemed Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Changing Ireland Accelerator Programme for 2023.
SEI's Changing Ireland Accelerator Programme is a prestigious twelve-month initiative designed to support nationally scaling organizations that focus on underserved and/or underrepresented communities in Ireland. As the highest offering from SEI, this program has been instrumental in supporting social entrepreneurs for nearly two decades.
Among more than 70 applicants, Her Sport and three other organizations in the fields of arts, education, and inclusion were selected by SEI to participate in this transformative journey.
The rigorous selection process involved the expertise of over 300 entrepreneurs, Irish business leaders, technical consultants, and corporate partners. Her Sport and the other chosen organizations showcased a well-proven model for addressing a major social issue affecting the people of Ireland. In recognition of their impact, these organizations will receive a €500,000 program to scale and expand their initiatives beyond their current levels.
The inclusion of HerSport in the SEI Changing Ireland Accelerator Programme is a significant milestone for the company, after trying to be included in the programme for three years. Through Her Sport's educational workshops and media coverage, founders Niamh Tallon and Mohammed Mahomed are actively reshaping the landscape of women's sports in Ireland.
🚀Changing Ireland Accelerator Awardees 🚀
After receiving over 70 applications, we are thrilled to announce @GormMedia, @HeliumArts, @DabbledooMusic and @HerSportDotIE as the 2023 #ChangingIreland Accelerator Awardees! 👏
Read about each awardee: https://t.co/inbFgcBQYH pic.twitter.com/9OFSFMpIVj
— Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (@SEIreland) June 14, 2023
Her Sport advocates for girls and women in sport who are underrepresented, underserved and marginalised from grassroot to elite level. Sport is known to positively impact mental and physical health, as well as personal and professional development. Facts such as 94% of women in executive managerial positions have a background in sport prove this. Despite the evident value of sport, there is a clear social problem in Ireland:
- Only 7% of girls are meeting the recommended physical activity levels.50% of women drop out of sport by the age of 20.
- Irish girls have among the lowest self-esteem and confidence globally.
- Just 6% of sports media coverage is given to women’s sport.
Through Her Sport's digital platforms and educational workshops to schools, clubs and businesses, we are creating a cultural change with the vision of equal opportunity in sport regardless of gender. In these workshops, we discuss barriers for women in sport and how to overcome them.
Our goal is to empower and educate the next generation, providing them with the tools and know-how to create a supportive and inclusive environment for girls and women in sport. pic.twitter.com/K9pxGp66Vo
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) June 13, 2023
"Her Sport is creating visibility, educating and sparking conversation around women’s sport daily," Mohammed explained.
"No other sports platform in Ireland is doing this. Her Sport is also not only a media platform - we actively highlight the disparity for girls and women in sport, sparking conversation and demanding change."
Following the Her Sport workshops in schools, 95% of participants felt empowered to deal with the obstacles they might face when it comes to sport or exercise, recognition of female athletes increased by 83% and interest in attending/watching a women’s sporting event increased by over 50%.
Her Sport's second approach to empower women in sport is through ensuring daily media coverage to highlight and showcase the accomplishments of women in sports, providing much-needed visibility and recognition.
"I grew up believing I had the same opportunities as my brother, in sport, in business, in life. My upbringing at home, attending an all-girls school and having female coaches in swimming, led me to believe this, Niamh said.
"In my adult life, I have since been both angered and disappointed that this is not the case. I have experienced unfair treatment as a female athlete, campaigned for change as a committee member and witnessed peers drop out of sport from 11/12 years old onwards. I understand the barriers and am driven to make a change. From awkwardness and embarrassment in relation to the female body, to the frustration at lack of coaching, equipment and misogyny in sport.
"Without sport, I would be a shell of my current self. I developed confidence, leadership, communication, resilience, the want to achieve and much much more, from sport. I want to see a different future for girls, without the gender specific barriers, where they have the opportunity to reach their full potential."
SEI CEO Tim Griffiths expressed admiration for Niamh and Mohammed's work, stating, "These individuals have demonstrated remarkable dedication to creating positive change within their communities and beyond."
Over the next twelve months, the SEI community will leverage its cumulative power to provide extensive support, enabling the winners to significantly expand their impact and drive accelerated change.
Her Sport is committed to bringing equal opportunity in sport regardless of gender, and using sport as a tool to empower, educate and inspire women and girls to reach their full potential.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to fill out our survey and provide us with feedback. Should you be interested in finding out more about the Her Sport workshops, contact [email protected].