Fast in the wake of the country’s Olympic success, the Girls’ Schools Association (‘GSA’) is to stage a national sports event to encourage women in sport. Seven of the medals won by Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games were won by alumnae of GSA schools.
The annual GSA Girls Go Gold Conference will take place at Moira House Girls’ School in Eastbourne, in association with the University of Brighton, on Wednesday 19 September.
Sally Gunnell OBE, Olympic Gold Medal winner in the 400 metre hurdles in 1992 and the only woman to hold Commonwealth, European, World and Olympics track titles concurrently, will be the keynote speaker.
Over 600 students from girls’ schools throughout the UK will participate in workshops and presentations including Careers in Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, and Sports Journalism. The delegates are all in Years 10 to 13 and all elite athletes, representing their school, county, region or country in their chosen specialist sport.
Girls Go Gold is an annual event hosted by a different girls’ school each year. Moira House was the first girls’ school to allow girls to play cricket and has been long associated with sporting excellence. Lesley Watson is Moira House principal as well as chairman of the GSA sports committee. She says: “In conjunction with the University of Brighton, we are delighted to host this unique event to inspire and encourage young athletes to reach their full potential in their chosen sport.”
President of the Girls’ Schools Association, Louise Robinson, says: “GSA schools organise Girls Go Gold every year because, in a society where so few women’s sports are given prime time TV coverage, it’s vital that young girls have opportunities to meet high-achieving female sporting role models and to have their sporting aspirations and aptitudes taken seriously. This year, with the Olympics giving us so many great role models, it’s more important than ever to keep up the momentum.”