@clarebalding’s “Make a little trouble,” and other top quotes from the 2014 #beagamechanger event ahead of tonight’s @womensporttrust awards

#BeAGameChanger-audienceThe world of athletes, media and business collided and colluded on May 28 2014 in the Women’s Sport Trust event, creating a hub and hum of enthusiasm, opportunity and bringing together a group of like-minded people willing to make a change

A big groan emanated around the Shoreditch warehouse in London, playing host to 350-odd movers and shakers (and Sports Liberated) in the women’s sport sector.

From Olympic athletes to business types to media bods, the great and the good collectively frowned when co-founder and co-host Tammy Parlour revealed that female athletes receive only 7% of newspaper coverage and 0.4% of all sport sponsorship money.

Queen Balding was having none of this and stepped in and raised the roof, quoting Nora Ephron’s 1996 speech encouraging us all to ‘find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there’.

Jo Bostock, co-founder of the WST continued: “We believe that change is intensely personal. It comes from enough determined people deciding that they want things to be different. Those people were in the room tonight and they are going to start a revolution in women’s sport.”


“Sport has the power to change the way women see themselves.”
Anna Watkins, Olympic gold medal rower and founding member of the Women’s Sport Trust

“The status quo is not acceptable. This is about helping people and businesses realise their full potential. 70% of consumer spending is impacted by women. 50% of wealth is held by women.”
Michel van der Bel, UK vice president of Microsoft, sponsors of the event 

“It’s time to break the cycle that holds women’s sport back. The media blaming business for lack of sponsorship. Businesses blaming media for lack of coverage. We can intervene and I hold my hand up to be a captain of that change.”
Fiona O’Hara, managing director, Accenture

“Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”
Broadcaster Clare Balding who quoted journalist and writer, Nora Ephron

“I’m a sore loser so when it comes to losing as captain you’ve got to channel your emotions and be there for the team and be ready for the next game. When you win, it makes it even better when you are leader of that team.”
Steph Houghton, England women’s football captain

“I come from a sport where we compete against men and it isn’t about strength or size – I’ve said it before but I think we really need to prove to young girls that they can achieve anything that they want to – not just in sport.”
Sophie Christiansen, three-time gold medal winner at London 2012 Paralympics

“The Commonwealths and the world champs are what’s important for us. But on the media side the Commonwealths is where it’s at but Sky have been awesome showing our league games. Every week there’s a live game and our semi finals and final so that’s made a huge impact for our sport as it’s
now visible to more people.”

Pamela Cookey, England netball captain

#BeAGameChanger panel Netball's Pamela Cookey, Rugby's Katy McLean, football's Steph Houghton, cricketer Charlotte Edwards and compere Alice Arnold

#BeAGameChanger panel: netballer Pamela Cookey, rugby player Katy McLean, footballer Steph Houghton, cricketer Charlotte Edwards and, far right, compere Alice Arnold

“We’ve had so many games on TV now. Most of our international games, especially our Twenty20 games are live on TV, which has been fantastic. Obviously, we want every game shown on TV and that hasn’t happened but to be fair, in the last three years the difference that has made and having them before men’s games as well, has made a huge difference. So there can’t be too many more complaints from me other than having every game televised but it makes a huge difference to the knock-on effect.”
Charlotte Edwards, England cricket captain

“It’s not just about [the game being on TV] it’s the commentators as well. We have the same commentators as the men, they comment on the game like it’s a men’s game and they know the players inside out – I think that has a real impact on the audience that are watching, not just the game itself.”
Charlotte Edwards, England cricket captain

“I absolutely sense there is a change in the way the nation feels about women in sport and Women’s Sport Trust is an example of exactly that change… BT was very much involved in the Olympics and felt that feeling that came from embracing that feeling of nationhood and success, and so on, and it just started to permeate into how we wanted to build into what we were launching. We certainly launched off the back of some strong men’s sport rights – football – but I don’t believe the long-term success of BT Sport is just on men’s sport, I think it’s women’s as well as men’s.”
Simon Green, BT Sport

“Time management is key. I don’t think I could manage if I didn’t have my life planned. I’m a business manager of a sports trust so whether it’s getting up at five in the morning to go training to then go off to work to then come back again to train with the squad, you have to have that discipline to do it. But I get to do something that I love every day so I don’t mind doing it… but at the same time it would be nice to have a bit more time!”
Pamela Cookey, England netball captain, on being the only sportswoman on stage not to have some form of pro contract

“It’s not only time but it’s the little stuff when you need to get off work to get to training because you’ve got a running session or a gym session to do or they know that I’ve come in later because I’ve gone to the gym so I am lucky in that respect. I’ve got a reception class so they’ve no idea what’s going on anyway.”
Katy McLean, England rugby’s unfunded captain on balancing work as a school teacher with sporting life

“For me personally, I couldn’t imagine what it’s like being a runner or something where you’re on your own repeating something, because the banter around team sports is fantastic.”
England women’s football captain Steph Houghton

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