EUROPEAN WOMEN IN SPORT
For an adaptive governance of women’s sports practices
To formulate these best practice guidelines, relevant actors, including team/club managers, coaches and athletes were approached to obtain information through a survey, interviews and focus groups.
Media, marketing and visibility
Communication around women in football has seen great progress in the recent years. These best practices highlight the efforts made by involved stakeholders and tools readily available in showcasing, garnering interest and promoting ways to include and support women in sport.
The women’s team integrates with the men’s team, sharing things like marketing, social media, branding, sponsorship and resources
The women’s team (or club) is separate from the men’s club or team.
Regular live broadcasting of women’s games. Broadcasts can be on ‘own’ TV/radio, local or national.
Individual players, staff or dedicated social media staff (latter is most desirable) post material, such as fixtures, interviews with players, match highlights, player statistics and profiles, transfer announcements, promotional videos, kit launch announcements and personal stories of players.
Strategies and plans for women’s football are implemented by National Governing Bodies and international organisations.
"Soccer. The players of Norway will receive the same salary as the men"
The Norwegian Football Federation has announced that the female footballers of the selection will now receive as much as their male counterparts in Norway. It will double the amount granted to women. Conversely, men consented to a reduction in their annual salaries.
Pay, sponsorship and career support
This section of the landscape lends a better understanding of football practices concerning equality for women regarding pay, sponsorship, career progression and access to resources, as well as practices regarding media coverage, promotion and visibility for women in football.
Professional athletes get a salary that is sustainable for living on.
Male and female players are paid the same amount, and/or male and female players get the same amount for representing their country and/or males and females receive the same bonuses.
Encouragement, opportunities and support is given to girls to play football. There is a clear pathway through which a girl can progress into an elite level of play. There is usually a scouting strategy to identify talent.
Female footballers and those working in women’s football are supported in their role. At the professional and semi-professional level, this may mean that players receive education so that a dual career or career post-football can be pursued. At the amateur level, this may mean that players and staff are supported so they have time to pursue a paid career. There is, with all clubs affiliated to the national governing body, an equality and diversity code that players and staff should be aware of.
To support and develop female coaches in football, owing to the lower number of coaches who are women. To improve retention and progression for female coaches
Sponsorship usually has mutual benefits for the sponsor and receiver. For instance, in the women’s game, a sponsor might want to be associated with the women’s game as it promotes their brand as being a supporter of gender equality.
The UEFA Women’s Champions League financial distribution model put in place for 2020/21. Revenue is redistributed to women’s football across Europe, in order to support entry into the UEFA Women’s Champions League from smaller nations. A solidarity payment (23% of the total revenue) is given to non-participating clubs. Marketing and TV coverage is centralised from the group stage onwards. Cross-subsidies are also used from the men’s game to support the women’s game.
Athlete’s Menstruation – Menstrual Cycle
More videos on the Effects of the Menstrual Cycle of Athletes will be available in the Toolkit.
Menstrual cycle and hormone-based contraceptive use
Menstrual cycles and hormonal contraception form a core duo from which female players’ performance can be observed. Perceptions, stigmas and advancements related to these factors give an inside look into the intersection of gender and high-level sport activities.
Footballers track their menstrual cycle using an App, to inform training. Usually tracking takes place on a team level, with the coach being notified of variances, so that training can be adapted for each individual.
MoJo Manuals are an educational resource, developed by the Women’s Sports Network. The manuals aim to help girls overcome many of the issues they face with competitive sport (also including information on body image and amenorrhoea). Manuals are available to not-for-profit organsation on an ‘Open-Source IP basis’, meaning that they can be shared, developed, translated and printed worldwide at minimal cost.
Relevant staff monitor players’ nutrition to ensure that their energy intake matches their energy expenditure. Usually monitoring is via the team nutritionist (or equivalent). As an example, Gatorade Sport Science Institute, through their sponsorship, have provided workshops on nutrition for players and support staff on the importance of nutrition.
Salivary and urine are analysed for ovarian hormones to monitor menstrual cycle phase in relation to joint laxity and limb stiffness.
Clubs employ/appoint or identify female staff in their club who players can approach to talk, in confidence, about menstrual cycle and hormone-based contraceptive issues.
Pregnancy and motherhood
How do pregnancy and motherhood impact players’ professional trajectories? And more importantly what is being done to accompany the players through these events? Whether at the personal, team or club level these are necessary conversations when dealing with women in sports.
CY Cergy Paris Université
Senior project Manager
Project co-funded by the Erasmus plus programme. All rights reserved – 2023