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Trailblazer visits Bristol to celebrate women’s sport and inspire next generation of players

Game On director Sue Anstiss MBE attends Sussex University Rugby Team’s training – left to right: Lola de Oliveira Gibbon, Molly Horler Anstiss, Sue Anstiss, Mary Racz. Ben Marlow/Ben&Jack Studio

Press release issued: 27 February 2024

People in Bristol are invited to a special screening of the hit Netflix documentary Game On, which celebrates the inspiring rise of women’s sport and features some of the world’s most successful sports stars.

The free event, hosted by the University of Bristol on Wednesday March 13, includes a panel discussion with the film’s director Sue Anstiss MBE, a women’s sport activist who has championed positive change for more than 30 years.

The discussion, featuring leading experts in the field, will explore the role of media in generating a more inclusive future for women’s sport.

Event facilitator Dr Fiona Spotswood, Associate Professor in Marketing and Consumption at the University of Bristol Business School, said: “This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to watch a fantastic film about how far women’s sport has progressed, especially in recent years.

“It’s also a chance to hear from the director, who has played such a pivotal role in this historic movement, as well as other leading practitioners. While there is much to celebrate, there are also still significant barriers to overcome and we look forward to talking about such obstacles and how we can tackle them together.”

Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport, which is also a book, focuses on the surging popularity of women’s football fuelled by the phenomenal performances of women’s teams and increased media coverage prompting greater spectator numbers.

But inequality in sports participation remains an issue and the lack of diversity in cultural representation on media platforms can perpetuate this. The discussion will explore what challenges persist and proven ways to promote inclusivity and help achieve equality.

Game On, which charts the past, present and future for women’s sport and its impact on society,was released last summer, coinciding with high-profile female sporting action such as The Ashes, FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Netball World Cup.

Told through the eyes of sporting legends and pioneers, it includes interviews with Olympic gold medallist heptathlete Denise Lewis, BBC presenter Clare Balding, Paralympian wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson, England footballer Kelly Smith, Rugby Union player Ugo Monye, England netballer Pamela Cookey, and TV sports presenters Clare Balding and Laura Woods. It also follows the journeys of professional rugby player Poppy Cleall and professional boxer Katie Taylor.  

Sue Anstiss MBE, who received the title for services to women’s sport in 2018, said: “I’m really looking forward to visiting Bristol and hope this beautiful, engaging film will strike a chord with both male and female audiences. The goal is to open people’s minds to the power sport has to drive change in society, and showcase the obstacles female athletes still face in their fight for equality.

“It was a privilege to film with such an array of sporting talent both on and off the field. Our panel discussion promises to explore the opportunities and challenges ahead for women’s sport, while also hopefully inspiring future generations.”

Tickets are limited and available on a first come first served basis, so please book in advance.

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