This is a very open challenge where you visualize the data to tell the story of women in high performance sports. What challenges do women athletes face and what measures will effectively promote their efforts?
Some visualisations and descriptive analysis already exist. The challenge aims to develop additional stories to raise awareness – not only among women athletes, but also among coaches, other athletes and the sports community. The idea is to produce inspirational stories based on predefined personas, but other imaginative ideas are also welcome.
Swiss Olympic is the Swiss National Olympic Committee that promotes diversity in the Swiss Sport Ecosystem. It is represented by Maja Neuenschwander, a former Olympic marathon runner.
Our social media campaign for a project on women in high performance sports, led by Maja Neuenschwander, aims to raise awareness about women’s topics that are relevant for training and competing. The data was collected during the Swiss Olympic study in Spring 2021.
Each persona reflects a particular audience and issue:
- Mia, 19, high performance cyclist, not only speaks of cycling but also of her biological cycles (#BeLikeMia, #CycleYourCycle)
- Anna, 27, high performance beach volleyball player, dares to share a taboo topic of stress incontinence (#BeLikeMia, #BlockYourDrop)
- Carmen, 33, biathlete, on the finishing line of her career. She shares her experiences with younger athletes (#BeLikeCarmen, #ShareYourExperience)
As the Swiss Olympics study of Spring 2021 has shown, many women’s health issues are taboo in Swiss sports. Although most athletes claim to experience some of these, they choose not to talk about it and thus feel left alone to cope with issues. We can therefore assume that these athletes do not consider their training environment as a safe place and lack support from peers and professionals when it comes to sharing their experiences. For example, gynecologists may lack information about the effects of menstrual cycles and hormonal changes on an athlete’s performance, and coaches are often unable to adapt the training programs to women’s physical needs.
To create awareness, we decided to first use prototypes to highlight the issues among members of this public audience. The campaign is budget-friendly and easy to start, copy and adapt to other personas and issues.
Since social media has no national borders (this case is in English), the campaign has strong potential to develop internationally and position the Swiss Olympics as a pioneering organization that addresses women athletes' physical and mental needs.
- Conduct a brainstorming session
- Choose the topics, target audience, and channels
- Test the ideas by using data from surveys (55 optional questions, 1,092 women athletes, 107 sports; holders of gold, silver, bronze or high performance Swiss Olympic Cards)
- Further develop prototypes for three personas
- Create the visual content
- Create a dashboard
- Test the effects of visual and written messages
- Produce the documentation
Potential next steps
- Although our campaign has created awareness for the current problems, the following questions still need to be addressed: “why should women athletes change their behavior and how such a change will benefit their performance/mental/physical state?”
- Add target groups (based on results of previous campaigns): Male coaches and trainers as additional stakeholders of the sport must be included: Male athletes, general public.
- Train the trainer: Coaches need to address the issues of their athletes’ activities and create a safe place in the sports environment.
- Forum for athletes: Create a platform where athletes can find a mentor and talk about their concerns anonymously.
Data from a survey conducted by SwissOlympic among Swiss high performance female athletes (link).