Women in Sport Conference

This year’s Women’s History Network, Midlands Region Conference* is scheduled to take place on St. John’s Campus, Henwick Grove on Saturday 6th November 2021, 9am-5pm. 


Women's History Network Logos - Photo Credit: © Library of Congress

The chosen theme is ‘Women in Sport’ and we are excited to offer attending delegates access to a varied programme of physical and virtual presentations across the day. (The Keynote and majority of papers will be delivered in person.)   

The Keynote Lecture ‘“All work and no play makes a dull wife and a tired mother”: Women and Sport in Second World War Britain’ will be delivered by Dr Rafaelle Nicholson (Bournemouth University) and Professor Matthew Taylor (De Montfort University). Despite considerable progress over recent years, female participation in sport continues to be neglected by historians. This is as true in relation to histories of women, as histories of sport. It is especially evident in the context of the historiography of the British home front in the Second World War. The extensive literature on women in the Second World War has generally been silent on sport and leisure. This paper challenges assumptions that the war had little impact on the sporting lives of British women and highlights the importance of sport and leisure to women themselves, as well as to the government, military and civil defence authorities. Because women were an important part of the home front, their morale, welfare and physical fitness mattered to those in authority. But the impetus for an extension of women’s sport also came from the women themselves, who pressed for the space and the opportunities to participate in sporting activity and extend the boundaries of women’s sport to a degree that had seemed impossible between the wars. 

Further papers consider a wide variety of women’s sporting participation through national and international examples, in a variety of historical periods. Topics include football, basketball, rugby, hockey, running, a strength athlete, speedway and women’s sport organisations and education. Whether you’re an academic, player, fan, or purely interested in the historical challenges and achievements of sporting women from across the globe, come and join us for what promises to be a day of new insights and stimulating discussion.  

 *This event is part-funded by the British Society of Sports History (BSSH)   

Please see further details on the programme, online registration (incl. accommodation option) below: 


Conference Fee         

  • £20 (Full fee)
  • £10 (Concessions [Unwaged/retired/postgraduate students])
  • Free (University of Worcester (undergraduates) and local School/College students)
  • Speaker (Fee waived)

Last date for registration: Sunday October 31st 2021

*Tea/coffee breaks and a sandwich lunch will be provided



  • Barrington House B&B (5 rooms only)  
  • Room Only - single occupancy and self-catering - £47.00 per night
  • Bed & Breakfast B&B - single occupancy - £53.00 per night
  • Please see the information provided about Barrington House and their Terms and Conditions.

For more information or to reserve your room, please contact: conferencing@worc.ac.uk


Additional Information

Attendance at the Conference is in person only. Please be advised, lecture theatres will have 50% capacity and all other room sizes will be reviewed by Facilities to ensure a safe capacity. The event will also take into account any social distancing requirements that may be necessary.

For any questions or queries please email Dr Wendy Toon (Conference Organiser) and Aurélie Papin (Conference Administrator) at: whnconference@worc.ac.uk