Lauren Rowles joins leading female athletes in Women’s Sport Trust ‘Unlocked’ initiative

Women’s Sport Trust charity programme Unlocked aims to help sportswomen tackle the issues they care about including increasing inclusivity and diversity in sport


Lauren Rowles MBE is joining elite female athletes from 27 sports – including fellow GB rower Melissa Wilson – to unlock the future of women’s sport and inspire change. The Women’s Sport Trust programme ‘Unlocked’ is about helping sportswomen tackle the issues they care about and increasing diversity in sport.

Lauren said: “I wanted to be part of Unlocked to understand how I can tackle the detrimental impact social media can have on young athletes. Having experienced this, growing up in sport, I know how dangerous it can be. I hope to be able to understand what systems and schemes I could help develop within sports organisations to improve their understanding of the issue and strengthen the support given to athletes.”

Thirty-five elite female athletes including football stars Nikita Parris and Caroline Weir, World Champion wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft MBE, DL and Rugby League England international Jodie Cunningham, have come together to tackle diversity in sport head on, as part of the Unlocked programme.

Tammy Parlour MBE, CEO and Co-Founder of The Women’s Sport Trust said: “It has been a challenging year for many, but as we come out of COVID-19, there is no better time to turbo-charge our effort and continue to unlock the value of women’s sport. We believe the best way to do this is by supporting these elite women and connecting them together.  Individually they are strong advocates for change but together they are unstoppable.”

“We can’t wait to see what this year’s group will achieve”

As part of the Unlocked group, the athletes will access experts from across the sport, business and media worlds. The Women’s Sport Trust hold workshops and opportunities to hear from industry insiders, as well as provide athletes with their own ‘activator’. The activators are leaders in their field who will share their connections and experience to help the sportswomen tackle the issues and areas they feel passionate about.

Last year’s Unlocked programme proved to be a gamechanger in empowering athletes, with four of the group now taking positions on sporting boards including two-time Olympian, swimmer Lizzie Simmons who has recently been selected as the new Chair of the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) Athlete’s Commission and GB Paralympian Vanessa Wallace, who has joined Sporting Equals as a Trustee.

Parlour added: “Unlocked has proven to be a gamechanger for the sports industry providing a model for how to empower sportswomen effectively, showing the power of actions, not words, in tackling diversity. We can’t wait to see what this year’s group will achieve.”

To celebrate the launch of Unlocked, The Women’s Sport Trust has released a short film featuring a powerful poem by Commonwealth Champion boxer Stacey Copeland. Copeland took part in the programme last year and was inspired to write about her experience.  The poem, ‘Our Time’ charts the rise of women’s sport and the importance of women coming together to inspire change.