More women are playing sport than ever before, according to Sport England.
More than 7.2 million women now play sport or do regular physical activity. The new figures suggest that the gender gap within sport has narrowed from over two million to 1.55 million.
The latest figures from Sport England’s Active People Survey shows that 15.97 million people over the age of 16 are now playing sport weekly, up 229,400 from 12 months ago.
This is also higher than the figure recorded in October 2012 and is 1.88 million more than when London won the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Figures show that since Sport England launched their This Girl Can campaign, 250,000 more women have taken up some kind of sport.
Jennie Price, Sport England chief executive, said, “These figures are really encouraging, especially the substantial increase in the number of women playing sport and being active every week.”
“Our This Girl Can campaign set out to tackle the gender gap, so to reduce it significantly in just two years shows we are making a difference.”
Keep fit sessions and going to the gym remain hugely popular, with the number of people taking part every week reaching 7.10 million, up 286,400 in the last 12 months. Exercise classes, like spinning, pilates and boxercise, continue to attract large numbers of people, especially women.
Gymnastics is also doing particularly well with 13,400 more people taking part once a week. Football, swimming, netball and hockey are all on the up, and while boxing has seen a decrease, there are still more women and people from disadvantaged backgrounds playing the sport.