|dc.description.abstract||Research by Sport England has found that female participation rates are still low
compared to males. This research investigates why such a gender gap still exists and
focuses on examining this issue amongst 18-24 year olds living in Ceredigion, a rural area
situated in Mid Wales.
The key barriers identified were the lack of transport, distance to facilities, lack of
appropriate facilities, urban/rural differences and how women often feel discouraged from
viewing themselves as strong, competent individuals and thus will be inclined to withdraw
from partaking in sport and physical activity.
A qualitative approach was used for this study, by undertaking semi structured interviews
with six female participants. The female interviewees lived in three different rural villages
within a 16 mile radius of the closest town of Aberystwyth, in Ceredigion, Mid Wales. The
primary objective of the interviews was to explore the barriers that women are faced with
and to see whether their rural geographical location might further hinder their participation.
The key findings highlighted the lack of access, scarcity of facilities, little or no public
transport and travelling a further distance to use facilities were all significant challenges.
Other themes that emerged from the results included the participants feeling at a
disadvantage compared to their urban counterparts, and there were no suitable clubs
available for women in the area. These findings suggest that, in addition to the known
barriers affecting women’s participation, living in a rural part of Wales brings further
challenges which are often overlooked by providers who tend to focus on an ‘urban’ model