After the fantastic success of our Sport England funded project, Girls Dodge Too! We continue to challenge ourselves and our members to provide new opportunities that increase female participation in dodgeball.
The Girls Dodge Too! project will continue to promote new opportunities, publicise good news stories and successes, seek funding and support member clubs and partner organisations to deliver new women and girls dodgeball sessions.
The Initial Project
The Sport England funded Girls Dodge Too! project ran from June 2021 to June 2022 and engaged 860 women and girls across England (57% ages 0-13, 39% aged 14-25, 4% ages 26+). The project utilised funding to provide taster sessions, leadership courses and events across the country and involved a whole host of member clubs.
Currently we are seeking further investment to deliver on what has been a fantastically successful initiative.
How You Can Get Involved
If you have a desire to encourage more women and girls to play dodgeball or have an idea about how your club can increase its female participation then we can help you to achieve these goals. Funding is available for clubs to provide new opportunities for women and girls to play the game. The funding could be used to help your club purchase new equipment, qualify new coaches and/or pay for venue hire for events and training sessions.
Its not too late to get involved in Girls Dodge Too! Get in touch with British Dodgeball via email@example.com
The White Tigers
Q: What gave you the idea/drive to form a girls team?
A: We had a couple junior girls that consistently turned up to training but we found that the majority of girls that were trying the sport, did not continue after a couple of sessions. We thought that the best way to attract & retain participants was to try to form a girls team to encourage friendship & camaraderie between them.
Q: How do you promote and market your sessions to girls – any tips?
A: We have received funding from our local Youth Council & local Sports Partnership that has enabled us to run girls only sessions for free. Social media is the main outlet for marketing but we also have good relationships with schools who promote within. We have also had coaches volunteer at local School Sports Partnerships initiatives that promote different sports to children, in particular for girls.
Q: Do you adapt your delivery or treat the girls differently to boys – again, any tips to get better retention or engagement from girls?
A: We do have mixed training but the majority of the time the girls will want to & insist on staying together to play against the boys. We have invested in training female volunteers & parents as coaches, including our teenage members so that the girls can feel comfortable communicating with older females. Our teenage girls act as role models & will join the younger sessions & will quite often play in their team to help encourage & coach them on court against the boys. We are running a female dodgeball taster session this coming Sunday where we have a junior session & a women’s taster session. Our women’s team & our female coaches will all be helping to coach/assist.
Q: How is it going in terms of numbers?
A: We still get a regular flow of girls that only attend a couple of sessions but we now have around 20 aged 5-18yrs that consistently attend & take part competitively. The majority of our womens team have come through the junior teams.
Q: Anything else you want to share/anything you learned from this experience?
A: We find that the girls that attend tend to have a ‘pack’ mentality. The more the friendships grow, the more girls will attend & commit. We try to encourage them to be part of the team wherever we can. We allowed them to name the team & they have their own separate kit which they helped to design themselves.
Objective: Grow women’s section at the club and provide a range of opportunities to sustain female members
Plan and Market
We planned and booked to run a women’s only session instead of one of our usual social sessions. We then created a Facebook event on our page and promoted the opportunity using Facebook community groups:
- Mint Manchester
- Manchester Girl
- Hulme Community Forum
- Moss Side & Hulme Community Group
- What’s On Manchester
- Manchester – Gals Who Graduate
We made sure that as many members as possible helped with he marketing and used comments as well as posts in these groups to direct people to the sessions.
When it came to the session itself we had 30 going, and 33 interested on the Facebook event. In total we had 29 actual attendees (approx. 18 new women).
We made sure to run a beginner-friendly session the included some of the below:
- Talked about grip and throwing technique
- Mixed in experienced players in Bees kit who went through rules with those new to the sport
- Plenty of opportunity for socialising and matches
At the end of the session we announced next the steps for those who want to play further – playing at casual social sessions, competitive sessions etc. We also created a new members offer, that means there is no membership needed to attend a competition or members training session.
We also messaged next steps the day after the sessions to reiterate opportunities.