In 2010 the University of Chichester decided to establish an archive on the international women and sport movement. This decision was based on the potential donation of documents from Dr Anita White and Professor Celia Brackenridge, two individuals associated with the university who had been centrally involved in the leadership and development of the movement since 1990.
The International Women and Sport Movement is said to have been born out of a decade in which increasing globalisation brought together women from across the world in the practice of sport (Hargreaves, 1999, p.462). It does not refer to any one organisation, body or country, but it is generally agreed that a landmark event and major catalyst in the movement was the first international conference on women and sport which took place on 5-8 May 1994. This event forms a focus of this archive which also covers its precedents and antecedents. The conference was organised by the British Sports Council, supported by the International Olympic Committee and brought together 280 policy and decision makers from 82 countries. Dr Anita White was Chair of the organising committee and Celia Brackenridge a keynote speaker. The conference focussed on the issue of inequality in womens practice of sport and sought to accelerate the process of change towards gender equity in and through sport. A major outcome of the conference was the Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport which has come to have world-wide currency and been endorsed by many countries and organisations. The declaration is addressed to all government and non-government organisations who are responsible for, or who are involved with, women and sport. The principle aim of the declaration was and continues to be the development of a culture which both enables and values the involvement of women in every aspect of sport. Material relating to the declaration can be found at reference WS/UK/2/1/1 and WS/UK/2/1/6. Other outcomes of the conference were an international strategy to advance women and sport globally, and the formation of an International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) charged with carrying forward the work and made up of representatives from key governmental and non- governmental agencies from all continents. Since 1994 the IWG has staged a quadrennial international conference.
Reference: Hargreaves, J (1999) THE WOMENS INTERNATIONAL SPORTS MOVEMENT, LOCAL GLOBAL STRATEGIES AND EMPOWERMENT, Womens Studies international Forum, Vol.22, No.5, p.462
The archive is comprised primarily of papers accumulated by Dr. Anita White, Professor Celia Brackenridge and other leaders in the womens sports movement. These papers were amassed in the course of their research, study and work in the fields of the sociology of sport and sport science, and their involvement as activists and leaders in the global women and sport movement.
Anita White has had a long connection with the University of Chichester, first as a member of staff from 1971-1990 and later as a Governor from 2001-2010. In 1990, she joined the Sports Council as Head of Development and went on to become one of three Senior Directors of Sport England in 1995. An acknowledged leader in the international women and sport movement she was a founder member and former Chair of the Women's Sports Foundation (UK). Following the Brighton Conference she co-chaired the International Working Group on Women and Sport from 1994 to 1998 and has advised many countries and organisations on women's sport development. Anita was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to women and sport.
Celia Brackenridge taught in schools and universities in the UK and also ran her own research-based consultancy company, specialising in child protection and gender equity issues in sport and leisure. Throughout her time as an active researcher, Celia has carried out major studies of women and leadership in leisure management and child protection in sport. She researched abuse and harassment issues in sport from the late 1980s onwards and was Programme Consultant to the IOC Medical Commission Consensus Statement on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport (2007) and to the UNICEF working group on violence against children in sport (2007-08). Celia was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Chichester in 2010.
This collection in documenting the work of Dr. White and Professor Brackenridge reflects the global reach of the Brighton Declaration and illustrates the impact of the International Women and Sport Movement on the lives of women.