#findingempowerment at Bradford Women of the World Festival


Nicola Waterworth // 7 November 2017

In November we took our #findingempowerment project to Bradford to learn from a group of women and men about their experiences of sport’s potential to “empower women and girls”. Using ‘clean space’ we created an environment for people’s knowledge to emerge, to find out what they knew, thought or felt about sport as empowering.

This forms part of our ongoing research #findingempowerment; we are working to understand the experiences and impact of sport and outdoor adventure on a wide variety of women and girls. These conversations inform everything that we do at Find It Film and we are looking at new and exciting ways to share these stories and what we learn, to create more ripples of change.

For now, we wanted to share the main themes, in our participants words, that came out in Bradford when we asked about “the potential for sport to empower women and girls”, a little Friday inspiration that will hopefully get us all out and about doing something over the weekend!


Breaking boundaries & stereotypes

“you’ve got to understand it’s breaking everyone else’s visions of what they think you are”

“And we were talking about different opportunities that different people can have depending on what  backgrounds they come from and what cultures and then what women can and can’t do”

Powerful & inspiring

“Inspiring, thinking that you can do that, role models, being inspired by all different shapes and sizes that may well not be portrayed so well in mainstream media”

“first time I did it I thought when I get to the bottom I can do anything…...being able to say I can do and I will do this”


Community & acceptance

“they’re like actually no, you’re the same as us and you can actually play it together”

“But I do sports, but I don’t do it competitively and I probably don’t do it as well as other people but it does give you a sense of freedom and acceptance and  it doesn’t really matter does it as long as you are accepted”


“camaraderie and mutual support you get”


“doesn’t matter what size or shape you are”


Playing it for fun & games

“more fun side of sports, playing it for fun and games  gets left behind and there isn’t really space for that as

you get older. So it helps break stereotypes to get out, be active, be healthy, learn about team building, enjoy

yourselves, meeting people”

Mental health

“But also as an outlet for women, or for anyone really, in terms of mental health we all know that exercise, that taking part in any sort of exercise can improve your mental health and for a lot of people it can be an escape from something that is going on at home”


“and you can load off and a lot of people tend to forget that if you don’t have anyone to load off on, and what I mean by that is just kind of like moan , be able to let everything out like you did just now”


New skills & potential

“tap into your potential, like you said you are not doing it competitively but you’re able to see improvements, so the first session maybe after 2 weeks you can see improvements and sometimes you thought like “I never thought I could actually do that”.”

“it's just good to learn new skills, to get stronger”


If you are interested in sharing your experiences of sport as empowering please contact us at