Women's Sport Trust launches 'unlocked' campaign to push for 'greater ambition' in 2020s

(l-r) Georgina Roberts (shooting), Marilyn Okoro (athletics), Rachel Choong (Para-badminton), Siobhan Prior (basketball), Lucy Adams (skateboard), Stacey Copeland (boxing), Alice Dearing (swimming), Alice Powell (motor racing), Caitlin Beevers (rugby league), Vanessa Wallace (Para-shot put)
Some of the British athletes who will be taking part in the initiative

The profile of women's sport has grown hugely over the last decade but a leading charity believes there needs to be much greater ambition.

The Women's Sport Trust has launched a campaign called 'unlocked' which will pair 40 elite athletes from 24 sports with leading figures from business, sport and the media.

Sportswomen on the programme include Rio Olympic hockey gold medallist Maddie Hinch, England and Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, England netballer Sasha Corbin and racing driver Alice Powell.

Tammy Parlour, of the Women's Sport Trust, said there were still too many closed doors in the sports industry which has meant progress has been uneven, with peaks and troughs of attention and investment.

She said: "Despite increasing profile, we believe the value of women's sport needs to be unlocked faster, with more impatience and greater ambition."

The athlete launch was hosted at the BBC Sport headquarters in Salford and the campaign's aim is to create critical mass of noise and energy to propel women's sport in the 2020s.

Boxer Stacey Copeland said: "Most female athletes are not only concerned about their own sporting ambition but about what impact we can have as role-models and on the future of women's sport.

"I want to see more women and girls in non-traditional sports like boxing and I have created my own project 'Pave the Way' to do this.

"I have had success but believe this campaign will connect me to people who can take it to the next level."

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.