Popularity of women’s boxing growing, shows Sport England survey

April 23, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


The popularity of women’s boxing across England continues to grow considerably, the latest figures from Sport England show.

Data from the fourth year of Sport England’s Active Lives survey, released today and covering the period from November 2018 to November 2019, shows that 420,400 females (including boxing-related fitness classes) were regularly involved in the sport.

That figure is up from 386,000 the previous year, and is a big increase on the first Active Lives survey in 2015-16, when it stood at 356,500.

Among the initiatives introduced by England Boxing to help drive female participation are the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup, the all-female England Boxing Level One ‘Punch Like A Girl’ coaching courses (pictured above) and the Female Aspire programme for regional boxers (pictured below).

The figures are equally encouraging for the numbers taking part in boxing overall, with 768,200 regularly training in boxing (including boxing-related fitness classes) from November 2018 to November 2019, up from £742,300 for the same period in 2017-18 and 672,100 in 2015-16.

“It’s great to see that the number of women and girls coming into boxing is continuing to increase, which is certainly helping to drive up standards across all levels and, at the top end, makes the England squads at international level more reflective of the society we live in,” said Avoen Perryman, England Boxing’s Insight lead.

“The growth in Sport England’s figures for boxing in all its forms, including for fitness classes, certainly reflects what we are seeing in terms of growth in our own membership and club numbers.”

The survey also reported that pre-Coronavirus levels of participation in sport and physical activity across the country has never been higher.

Prior to the lockdown, 28.6m adults in England (63.3%) were active - which means meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week - an increase of 404,600 people on the previous 12 months.

Sport England’s Chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, said: “That overall activity levels were at a record high across England at the end of last year is excellent news, particularly the strong growth among older adults, people with a disability and among those with long term health conditions.”

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