Team GB chef de mission, Mark England, declared that '2021 is truly the year of the female Olympian', after the British team took more female than male athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The trend continued as ParalympicsGB took the highest ever percentage of female athletes to a Paralympic Games.
The 100 female athletes selected, including University of East London (UEL) student Vanessa Wallace (who competed in the women’s F34 shot put), made up 44 per cent of the squad at the Tokyo Paralympics. This was a 4 per cent increase compared to the Rio 2016 Paralympics and is a step in the right direction for gender equality in elite level sport.
The University of East London has long been a champion for gender equality, encouraging women and people from a BAME background to get into sport.
The University was ranked second in the UK for gender equality by the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking 2020, and closely collaborates with several members of the newly formed Women’s Elite Sport Partnership involving West Ham United, London Pulse Netball Club, basketball outfits Essex Rebels, the London Lions and cricket team, Sunrisers.
In 2019/20, 40 per cent of students attending club sport or Move East London sessions were female, with 58 per cent of all users being from a BAME background. At the elite level, in the last academic year, 62 out of 144 of UEL's high performance sport scholars were female.