English golfer Hannah Burke is one of 35 athletes, from 27 sports selected by the charity the Women’s Sport Trust to help sportswomen tackle the issues they care about and come back stronger than ever, post pandemic

The Women’s Sport Trust was founded after London 2012 with the aim of raising the visibility and increasing the impact of women’s sport in the UK. This is achieved through the promotion of role models, stimulating media coverage and encouraging greater funding It is the leading UK charity focused on using the power of sport to accelerate gender equality.

What is 'Unlocked'?

The Unlocked programme is now in its second year and aims to help athletes accelerate change across the sports industry. Representing 27 different sports and with athletes at different points in their elite careers, the group provides a unique, diverse and powerful insight into the challenges and opportunities that exist in women’s sport, based on those who sit at the heart of it.

The first golfer on the programme

Hannah Burke will be the first golfer on the programme. She put a simple tweet out about it this morning:

We spoke to Hannah last year during the very successful Rose Ladies Series about the fantastic support she had received from members at her childhood club Mid Herts.

It's time to elevate women's sport

There is no doubt that this is a fantastic opportunity for these athletes and we are really looking forward to seeing how the programme develops going forward. Someone extremely dedicated to the cause of raising the profile of women’s sport and its athletes is CEO and Co-Founder of the Women’s Sport Trust Tammy Parlour MBE. She explains why this programme is so important:

“It has been a challenging year for many, but as we come out of Covid-19, there is no better time to turbo-charge our effort and continue to unlock the value of women’s sport.  We believe the best way to do this is by supporting these elite women and connecting them together.  Individually they are strong advocates for change but together they are unstoppable.”

The 35 elite female athletes include football stars Nikita Parris and Caroline Weir, World Champion wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft MBE, DL and Rugby League England international Jodie Cunningham.

Parlour adds, “Unlocked has proven to be a gamechanger for the sports industry providing a model for how to empower sportswomen effectively, showing the power of actions, not words, in tackling diversity.  We can’t wait to see what this year’s group will achieve.”

What does the Unlocked programme entail?

As part of the Unlocked group the athletes will access experts from across the sport, business and media worlds.  The Women’s Sport Trust hold workshops and opportunities to hear from industry insiders, as well as provide athletes with their own ‘activator’. 

The activators are leaders in their field who will share their connections and experience to help the sportswomen tackle the issues and areas they feel passionate about. Working with the other athletes in the Unlocked group will create a lasting network and a chance to learn from others who face similar challenges and opportunities. Virtual hangouts with the group and The Women’s Sport Trust team are also a valuable source of support and inspiration.

Celebrating the launch

To celebrate the launch of Unlocked, The Women’s Sport Trust has released a short film featuring a poem by Commonwealth Champion boxer Stacey Copeland.  Copeland took part in the programme last year and was inspired to write about her experience.  The poem, ‘Our Time’ charts the rise of women’s sport and the importance of women coming together to inspire change.

For more details about the Unlocked programme please visit the Women’s Sport Trust website.