20×20 – Final Event Press Release

20×20 – Final Event Press Release

Final Event Press Release

Oct 22nd 2020


  • 80% of the population are more of aware of women’s sport since the launch of 20×20
  • 61% are more likely to support women’s sport since the launch of 2020
  • 75% of men say 20×20 changed their mindset positively towards women’s sport
  • 42% of women say they are participating in more sport and physical activity than in 2018 due to awareness of 20×20
  • 50% of the population and 60% of females say they would be more inclined to purchase from brands that support women’s sport

OCTOBER 21ST, 2020:  20×20, the movement originated and driven by the creative agency Along Came A Spider, and presented by the Federation of Irish Sport, came to a conclusion today at a star-studded virtual event hosted by KPMG. 20×20 set out two years ago to create a measurable shift in the perception of women in sport in Ireland, so that it would be seen as something strong, valuable and worth celebrating.

The campaign would never have come to life without five Irish businesses championing the 20×20 mission, KPMG, AIG, Investec, Lidl and Three. All of Ireland’s National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships, as well as a host of third level institutions, schools and clubs around the country also showed their support and signed a 20×20 Charter.

A key objective for 20×20 was to make women’s sport a bigger part of Irish culture by making it more visible. Research commissioned by 20×20 and conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, details significant success here with 80% of Irish adults – rising to 84% of Irish men – saying they are more aware of women’s sport now, than before the movement launched two years ago. Three quarters of those surveyed also say they believe that women’s sport is seen as cooler. Of those aware of the campaign, 73% – rising to 75% of men – say that 20×20 changed their mindset positively towards girls and women in sport, with 68% stating they support women in sport more because of 20×20, and 42% of women saying they now participate in more sport because of the movement.

Despite this progress though, women’s sport still lags far behind men’s sport when it comes to participation, attendance and media coverage. In terms of media coverage, research conducted by Nielsen at the outset of the campaign, found that just 4% of sport’s online coverage and 3% of sport’s print coverage was dedicated to women’s sport. By the end of 2019, each of these had grown by 2%, up to 5% for online and 6% for print. TV coverage of women’s sport meanwhile saw a 40% decrease in the same period, even though coverage of women’s sport grew across both RTÉ and TG4. Despite the decline in coverage levels, audience of women’s sport on TV grew from 7% in 2018 to 18% in 2019. Participation grew by 13% while attendance in women’s sport increased by 17% during this period.

Some other key findings came out of the research, including the fact that 73% of the general population (and 80% of sports fans) agreed that ‘greater visibility of women’s sports and athletes is crucial to grow women’s sport’. Similarly, over 3 in 4 of the general population believe sponsors should invest in both versions of sport and that sponsors should support women’s sport. Indeed, fans show higher purchase intentions for brands who sponsor women’s sport, with half of the population, – and 60% of females – also saying that they would be more inclined to purchase from brands that support women’s sport.

Speakers at the KPMG and 20×20 final campaign event today included nine-time Wimbledon Champion Martina Navratilova, former Irish rugby international, Brian O’Driscoll and Olympic silver medalist at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Sonia O’Sullivan amongst others. All lauded the significant strides made by women’s sport in recent years yet warned against complacency given the scale of the job yet to be done.

The speakers at the concluding event highlighted the significant opportunity available for society, for media, for sponsors and for sport itself from continued growth of women’s sport. They cautioned that this would not just happen but would require investment, promotion and commitment from all of Irish sport’s stakeholder. They asked that today not be seen as an end of a journey but rather as a catalyst to ensuring the true potential of women’s sport is maximised for the benefit of all.

Speaking about the research, Sarah Colgan, CEO of Along Came A Spider and 20×20 founder said: “In October 2018 20×20 set out to create a shift in Irish culture and to begin a change in the value we place on women in sport in Irish society. We set a two-year window, up to October 2020 to have an impact. The results released today are hugely encouraging. The will to be progressive by all stakeholders in sport has got stronger, our female athletes are becoming unapologetic, fans are asking for more, voices are becoming louder, and a change has taken place in the Irish psyche. 20×20 became a national movement thanks to the support of Irish sport, Irish media, and the Irish public – in addition to the five Irish brands who made it possible. There is still a huge way to go to get to 50/50, and we are coming from a terribly low base, but the responsibility and the opportunity for everyone touching sport is huge now. We all need to set expectations high when it comes to women’s sport, to keep pushing for answers and questioning ourselves and what we see around us in order build on this momentum.”

CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said: “We have all come a long way since 20×20 launched in 2018 and it was fantastic to hear today the shifts that are happening in our culture and in perception around women in sport. The research shows just how important that visibility, participation and attendance has meant for women in sport across the country, and as we close the curtain on this fantastic movement, we are hoping that everyone takes the baton that 20×20 is handing over and continues to run with it long into the future.”

Emer McGrath, Partner at KPMG added: “It was a huge honour for all of us at KPMG to be involved in today’s event and to help spread the message of 20×20 to more and more people. These past two years have been phenomenal for 20×20 and for all of us who are involved in sport in Ireland. We are thrilled to hear from the research that such strides have been made for women in sport in Ireland, and we pledge to continue to promote this message forward for many more years to come.”

Sonia O’Sullivan added : “20×20 has been a significant movement in Ireland not just for women, but for all of society. It is fantastic to hear that people’s perception of women in sport has changed over the past two years, and that is thanks to the fantastic work by everyone involved in sport to drive this message forward. Now, the future lies in our hands, and we all must take it upon ourselves to keep driving it forward, keep the coverage coming, keep attending women’s sporting events and keep participating.”

Chloe Magee recognised for holding the All-Time record for most National Badminton Titles

Chloe Magee recognised for holding the All-Time record for most National Badminton Titles

Badminton Ireland has officially recognised Chloe Magee for holding the All-Time record for National Titles won. Chloe achieved this with National titles in both the Women’s Doubles & Mixed Doubles at the 2020 Nationals at the National Indoor Arena.

Chloe’s first National titles came in 2007 when she won the Women’s Singles & Women’s Doubles with Karen Bing. Throughout her career Chloe has won 10 Women’s singles, 4 Women’s Doubles and 12 Mixed Doubles National titles.

In 2019 Chloe Magee & Sam Magee broke the record for most National Titles won as a pair with 11 National Titles, breaking the record previously held Yvonne Kelly & Mary Bryan. Chloe & Sam have since extended that record with their 12th National win as a pair in 2020. This 12th Mixed Doubles National title tied Yvonne Kelly’s record of 12 National titles in an event which has been held since 1972.

Chloe Magee is a three time Olympian and is currently fighting for an Olympic qualification spot in Tokyo 2020 with her brother Sam Magee in the Mixed Doubles.

Chloe, who has featured as a 20×20 International Sports Woman of the Week on the Federation’s channels before is a fantastic representative of all that the 20×20 movement encapsulates. Chloe is a sporting hero #CantSeeCantBe

Both the Federation of Irish Sport and Badminton Ireland would like to congratulate Chloe Magee on this piece of history.

20 Questions with Sophie Earley

20 Questions with Sophie Earley

20×20 Questions with Sophie Earley


1. What’s your first memory of sport as a child?

I can remember being a very sport girl and enjoyed any sport that I did.

2. How did you first become involved in sport?

I think my brothers were the main reason I got involved in sport. I would see them playing any sport and immediately that would make me want to play.

3. What sports did you try as a child?

When I was around the age of four or five I enjoyed playing football and gymnastics, but when I was six I started playing table tennis.

4. What decided you to settle on your chosen sport?

I chose table tennis because I enjoyed it the most and because it was on the same day as gymnastics, so I had to choose one to play on a Saturday.

5. Who has had the most impact on your sporting career?

My brothers definitely have had a huge impact on my career as they help me with various things in my game and give me immense support.

6. What female do you most admire in the world of sport?

My favourite female sports star is Gabby Douglas who is an American gymnast

7. Outside of sport what do you do in your leisure time?

I enjoy watching movies in my spare time and going out with my brothers into town.

8. What is the last movie you went to see? What is your favourite movie of all time?

The last movie I went to see was Toy Story 4 and my favourite movie of all time is Pitch Perfect.

9. What music do you listen to?

I listen to anything that seems to be popular, but my favourite artist is Hailee Steinfeld.

10. Are you a reading fan? If so what are you currently reading?

I do enjoy reading and I am currently reading ‘It only happens in the movies’.

11. Do you follow any sports stars on social media? If so who?

I follow Nile Wilson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Tom Daley and Gabby Douglas on Instagram.

12. Forget about your sporting diet for a moment? Your favourite meal when you breakout?

My favourite food outside of my sporting diet would be pizza.

13. Who do you most admire in your own sport?

I admire Swedish player Truls Moregard most in my sport.

14. Do you have a special ritual before competing?

I would say that in some matches I would foam roll and others I would listen to music and warm up.

15. Do you still play other sports for fun?

Unfortunately, I can’t risk getting injured, so I don’t play other sports.

16. What advice would you give to young girls & boys to encourage them to participate in sport?

I would say that they will gain a lot of life skills and will make plenty of friends. Sport will also give youngsters a lot of confidence and will build their self-esteem.

17. What has been your biggest sporting achievement?

My biggest sporting achievement would be defeating the European Under 15 number 1, Elena Zaharia, and the number 2, Vlada Voroning.

18. How do you cope with (a) injuries; (b) other setbacks?

For injuries, I would attend regular physio sessions and would try rest as much as possible. Resistance bands are good for injuries involving your arm or shoulder. For other setbacks, it makes me even more determined to improve from there.

19. What do your family make of your success?

My family are extremely proud of what I achieved and hope I will continue to improve and achieve big results. My mum and dad flew over to Poland when I was playing the World Cadet Challenge and they witnessed me taking out the European number 1 and 2. Before that my dad had never seen me play abroad so it’s nice he got to see that.

20. What does sport mean to you?

I believe that participating in sport is a great way to escape the stress of school or work and make friends along the way. I feel so lively and energetic when I am playing it. The release of adrenaline and the sense of achievement you get when you reach a goal is what motivates you to keep going and so even better. The amount of life skills I have learnt through my career is crazy. Having the sense of leadership in a team, time management, handing pressure, being able to learn from a setback and respect are very important not only in sport but in real life. Sport is like a magnet, you can’t get away from it.

International Sportswomen of the Week

International Sportswomen of the Week

This week our International Award 20×20 Women in Sport goes to the Irish Times who this Friday along with their partners Sport Ireland,
will announce their Sportswoman of the Year Award. The scheme which has been running since 2004 has been paying tribute to Ireland’s
female sporting stars on a monthly basis for all those years. The first overall winner was Cathy Gannon. The brainchild of sports is editor Malachy Logan. The scheme is run for the paper by  Mary Hannigan, who earlier this year was honoured with the Journalist of the Year Award in the Federation’s own Business of Sport awards. Reflecting another great year for Ireland’s sporting women the monthly winners in line for the overall title are Mona McSharry ( swimming),; Phil Healy ( athletics ) ; Ciara Mageean ( athletics) ; Rachel Blackmore ( horseracing ) ; Leona Maguire ( golf );Jenny Egan (canoeing ) ; Katie Taylor ( boxing ) ; Rhasidat Adeleke ( athletics ) ; Kate O’Connor ( athletics ) ;Sanita Puspure ( rowing) ; Niamh Kilkenny ( camogie ); Lyndsey Davey ( ladies football ) ; and Denise O’Sullivan ( soccer ) . We wish then all well and commend the Irish Times for their long term commitment to highlighting the best of women in sport in Ireland.

International Sportswoman of the Week

International Sportswoman of the Week

Our International 20×20 Women in Sport Award this week goes to Chloe McGee and her brother Sam who in January will be off travelling the world again in pursuit of a place at the Tokyo Olympics.

Last weekend their contribution to the sport of badminton in Ireland was deservedly recognised at the annual Badminton Ireland Awards in Dublin where they received the award for Players of the Year. And what a year it was as they traveled far and wide to win vital points in their quest for Olympic qualification. During the year they were in Germany, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia, Ukraine, Russia, Japan, China, Korea, Holland, Switzerland, Thailand and England. And it is back on the road again in January in that search for points. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are their first stops in 2020.

The competition is fierce with only 16 spots available worldwide for the Mixed Doubles. Currently they are third reserve for Europe so more points, and huge dedication, are needed. Chloe is of course a already a triple Olympian having competed in the Games in Beijing, London and Rio. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, she became the first ever Irish woman to win a badminton match at the Olympics.

The pair have represented Ireland for a number of years with great distinction – including a bronze medal in the inaugural European Games in 2015.

International 20×20 Women in Sport Award

International 20×20 Women in Sport Award

Our International 20×20 Women in Sport Award this week recognises the work of the LPGA who have just released their plans for the 2020 LPGA Tour schedule. It’s going to be fantastic year for the world’s top female professional who will play for prize money of $75.1 MILLION during the year. Indicative of the increasing importance of the Tour it will feature five tournaments with prize money more than $2 million. The largest purse will be at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with $4.3 million on offer – up $450,000 from 2019. There will also be increased television coverage all year with 500 hours of global television coverage including at least seven events being aired on network TV. The Tour will be broadcast in more than 175 countries and will be beamed into 500 million households. And the good news for Ireland is that for the first time ever there will be two Irish players playing in this, the most prestigious platform for women’s golf worldwide. Stephanie Meadows and Leona Maguire, two of our 20×20 ambassadors, are of course full members of the Tour in 2020 with playing rights for all 33 tournaments – across 11 countries –  that make up the Tour schedule. The LPGA deserves huge credit for the way it continues to grow the Tour year on year. By creating ever more visibility for the sport it most definitely is encouraging more girls and women all over the world to take up the sport of golf.