PUMA's Neil Narriman, General Counsel IP and FESI President, talks about FESI´s "Strong Her" campaign.

October 4, 2022

PUMA's Neil Narriman, General Counsel IP and FESI President, talks about FESI´s "Strong Her" campaign.

October 4, 2022

Did you know? 33% of young women between 15 and 24 never exercise or play sport. A shocking number! PUMA’s Neil Narriman (General Counsel Intellectual Property), who is also active as President of the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI), actively addresses the issue. Together with his FESI peers they run the StrongHer campaign. This week, they reached a major milestone by releasing a manifesto that identifies a number of barriers, but also gives recommendations, to promote sport and physical activity among young girls.

The publication of the manifesto was celebrated as part of a football tournament organised in cooperation with the Kraainem Football Club (Belgium). Here they put into action directly what FESI recommends in its manifesto.

In the Manifesto, Neil and the other FESI members shed light on three key barriers to girls’ participation in sport: body image, access to sport facilities and the men-dominated culture of sport. For each of these barriers, the document sets out a number of recommendations targeted at national and European public authorities, sports organisations, as well as the sporting goods industry. Grouped in three categories, the recommendations call for the promotion of women coaches, the creation of an appropriate environment and equipment for girls, as well as an increased recognition of women role models.

The launch of the StrongHer Manifesto was celebrated at the Kraainem Football Club. It is a non-for-profit organisation committed to the promotion of sport for all. In the presence of the European Commissioner for Equality Ms. Helena Dalli, as well as other key representatives of the European institutions, the ceremony ended up with a football tournament, gathering mixed teams of young girls and boys, as well as refugees welcomed by the club in the framework of the “We welcome young refugees” initiative.


Today we are facing a worrying trend: 33% of young women between 15 and 24 never exercise or play sport. Yet, most of the barriers to girls’ participation in sport could be overcome with stronger collective effort. In line with the European Commission’s #HealthyLifestyle4All initiative, we have decided to join forces within FESI through our StrongHer campaign by promoting good practices and easy-to-implement recommendations”.

Neil Narriman, General Counsel Intellectual Property at PUMA & FESI President, during the opening ceremony of the Manifesto launch

Neil, why did you and your FESI peers decide to run the “StrongHer” campaign?

Neil: We signed a pledge during the 2021 European Week of Sport, in which it committed to launch a “StrongHer” campaign with the overall goal to get more girls active. Indeed, we are seeing a frightening trend here. Fewer and fewer girls and young women are active in sports. There are many different reasons for this. In our manifesto, we address this problem and point out the barriers that lead to it. This leads to several recommendations.

What will be the next steps?

Neil: Based on the lessons learned during our launch day and feedback received on the Manifesto, we are planning to organise a follow-up conference in Brussels. Here, we will bring industry experts, decision-makers, coaches and sport stakeholders together to discuss the main challenges and concrete actions to further improve girls’ participation in sport and physical activity. In the meantime, the document is available on FESI’s website and is now open for signature to all interested stakeholders who are willing to promote and support the initiative.

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