Sport The Business of Sport

Barclays banks on women’s football with massive deal

Barclays Bank has taken over sponsorship of women’s football in England in a multi-million pound deal. The bank has become the main

sponsor of Europe’s only fully professional domestic women’s football league, now renamed the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. The bank had previously spent 15

years as the main sponsor of football’s Premier League, between 2002 and 2017. The new sponsorship represents

the largest investment into women’s football in England.

‘A journey to transform the future of women’s football’

The Football Association and

Barclays will also be working together to drive the growth of the women’s football at grassroots level, with Barclays becoming the lead partner of the FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships, a nationwide scheme to help develop girls’ access to football at school. Barclays will work with the FA

and the Youth Sport Trust to support the development and delivery of 100 Girls’ Football School Partnerships. Kelly Simmons, FA director of

the Women’s Professional Game, said: “We are delighted to announce our landmark partnership

with Barclays and are looking forward to them joining us on a journey to transform the future of women’s football. “Their record, multi-million

pound commitment will impact all levels of the game and will support our ambition to make the Barclays FA Women’s Super League the world’s most successful league, on and off the pitch. “Of equal importance is the

support this provides to the FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships, a cornerstone to our ambition to double participation within the FA’s Gameplan for Growth strategy and

will see girls across the country given the opportunity to begin a relationship with football, which we hope will last a lifetime.” Jes Staley, group chief executive

of Barclays, said: “Football has the power to transform young people’s lives, boosting their confidence, being part of a team and providing more opportunities to grow. “The grassroots work through

the FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships will help thousands more girls in England to take up sport and we look forward to partnering with the FA to deliver that.”

On the ball (from left): Ex-player Kelly Smith with Jes Staley and Kelly Simmons

New route for Birmingham run

The annual Great Birmingham 10k run will take a new route around the city’s landmarks, organisers have announced. The route will take thousands of runners and spectators around iconic such as New Street, the Rotunda, the first time the event has gone through the middle of the city centre. In another first for the Great Birmingham 10k, there will be two start lines, both on Colmore Row either side of its junction with Bennetts Hill. Organisers will release a

running wave from the Cathedral stretch of Colmore Row then alternate with another wave from Waterloo Street and Victoria Square. The run will end at Aston

University, which has pledged to have teams of hundreds of staff, students and alumni taking part this year. More than 8,000 participants signed up for last year’s run, making it the biggest to date. David Hart, partnerships

director for event organiser the Great Run Company, said: “It will be a Great Run first to have two start lines for one event and also the first time we will see participants run along New Street. We are pleased to be able to feature some of the more iconic parts of Birmingham on the 10k route.”

Project champions wellbeing in the workplace

A workplace health and wellbeing initiative targeting businesses across the West Midlands is being launched. The project - ‘Workplace

Wellbeing Challenge’ – is aimed at reducing the cost of employees taking time off for sickness. The programme is a partnership

between Sport Birmingham and Kaido, a firm which aims to improve the health of employees. The partnership said that

research showed that in the UK employees take an average of 5.31 sick days every year, costing businesses in excess of £14.9bn. To help tackle this, the

partnership is inviting businesses to take part in the new six-week

health and wellbeing initiative, which is basically a competition where entrants earn points for any improvements they make in their physical activity, nutrition, sleep and mental health.. Mike Chamberlain, chief executive

of Sport Birmingham, said: “The Kaido Workplace Wellbeing programme offers a comprehensive and fun solution to discover and maintain healthy practices. “It complements our objectives

as a charity to raise awareness of the local activities and resources available to achieve a healthier lifestyle and we also see the Kaido platform being a key tool in helping us to deliver against our ‘Thrive at Work’ commitments.”

Sector Focus

Get fit: The wellbeing initiative aims to reduce sick days


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