Sarah Colgan & Heather Thornton: The Irish Duo Making Us All Want To Play Like A Girl

20×20 is an all-inclusive movement to shift Ireland's cultural perception of women's sport by 2020.

Proof that women should always support women. 

The 20x20 movement officially launched in October 2018. Its goal? To increase media coverage, boost attendances and grow involvement in female sport by 20 per cent by the end of 2020. The brains behind the movement are Sarah Colgan and Heather Thornton (co-founders of Along Came A Spider, a creative agency in Dublin). “My moment of awakening came when I nearly let my daughter drop sport,” explains Colgan. “I was mentally resolving to allow her to quit, while at the same time promising myself that I would never let her brother give up.”

My moment of awakening came when I nearly let my daughter drop sport

For Thornton, it was when she remembered the little girl she was in 1990 who wanted to be Packie Bonner...“and the slow realisation that the whole country would never galvanise as they did during Italia '90 for a women's team...until now,” she says. Their mission was to make 20x20 a movement that everyone could stand behind. “There has been a united reaction from sports fans, business, the media and the public," says Colgan.

20x20 is about shining a light on what people have been missing out on.

As Thornton explains, “20x20 is about shining a light on what people have been missing out on. We're a nation of sport enthusiasts, if sport is good then more sport is better.” And what continues to motivate the duo? “The impact it will have on everyone to see women’s sport become part of our cultural DNA in the way that men’s sport currently is," says Colgan. 

This article was originally published in the November issue of Irish Tatler.

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