When women support each other,

incredible things happen

In 2022 FEWI developed a Sporting Sponsorship scheme committed to supported women and girls sport across the county.  It is hoped that this initiative will reach a new audience, making them aware of the WI, perhaps leading to the players, the women in their families and those attending looking at joining their local WI.  We also hope that it may encourage our members to start enjoying sporting activities that they may not otherwise have tried which, in turn, may improve their well being and support their mental health.

October 2023 update – we are delighted that the Federation’s sponsorship of the various women’s and girl’s teams in Essex has been so successful this year and the Trustees have agreed to continue the scheme for a further year. 

We will also be looking at other initiatives and groups that we could sponsor that will help women across the county, so if you have any suggestion of women’s groups – e.g. choirs, artist groups, am dram, music groups, Morris dancing, etc. please do get in touch. 

The intention of our sponsorship scheme is to, not only support women, but also to encourage women to be more active physically, more active in their community and also hopefully to inspire more women to join their local WI.

The successful collaborations that we have made with various women’s and girls sports across the county are outlined below.

Women’s Ice Hockey – Chelmsford Cobras and Pythons

We are a Gold sponsor with our logo on their team shirts and helmets and a rink-side ad-board at Riverside ice rink in Chelmsford.

It is free to spectate the womens games at Riverside Ice rink in Chelmsford. If you would like to support our sponsored teams here are the dates for the upcoming home games:-

19th May 2024
17:00 Chelmsford Pythons v Coventry Phoenix
18:45 Chelmsford Cobras v Nottingham Vipers


Girls Rugby – Essex U18s

Our sponsorship enabled the Essex U18’s to purchase new match shirts with our logo on their backs. Andrea Church the Manager for Essex Women and Girls Rugby says “Our involvement with the WI last season brought lots of smiles to people’s faces reflecting what seem to be two very different ends of a wide spectrum. However, what it actually represents is one group of women who get together to learn and expand their friendships and knowledge supporting another group doing exactly the same.” We are delighted that they feel this way about our sponsorship.

Women’s Golf – Essex Ladies County Golf Association

We sponsored Essex Ladies Inter Club Final – the Harris Bowl 2023 in October and will continue our sponsorship in 2024.

The Harris Bowl itself is one of ELCGA’s oldest trophies and is a direct link back to a founding member of ELCGA. It was originally presented by Miss Harris, from Halstead, who was the first County Secretary of the Association. There is mention of her in records from 1901. The trophy was originally presented for an individual competition and was awarded for many years. It was repurposed when the Harris Bowl inter club competition was introduced in 2005 and has become the most popular competition that ELCGA runs year on year.  

Key dates for the Harris Bowl Inter-Club 2024 competition are as follows:-

  • All league match have to be played by the 4th August 2024. There are 8 leagues and 46 teams make up those leagues
  • Quarter Finals are held on Thursday 29th August, venue TBA
  • Semi Finals are held on 12th September, venue TBA
  • Finals are held on 13th October venue TBA

The sponsorship amount is used to supply mementos to each team who reach the final and to offset their practice rounds at the relevant finals venue as well as with expenses regarding the catering on the day.

Active Essex – This Girl Can Women Like Us Festival 2024

From 8th – 22nd March 2024 the Women Like Us Festival held a free Step Challenge sponsored by FEWI. Nearly 400 women and girls to got moving in one of our most successful This Girl Can Essex events to date.

  • 393 total active participants
  • 68,725,742 total steps walked
  • 47,863 km / 29,740 miles logged
  • Average daily steps – 4,908,982
  • 92 total teams
  • 39 trees planted on behalf of Big Team Challenge
  • 64% of participants were fairly inactive/not very active

Some participant quotes:

“I’d just like to say that taking part in the Big Team Challenge has shown me how easy it is to fit in more steps and activity every week, even though I told myself I was too busy! It has really motivated me to keep my steps up, and I have now joined a gym (something I’ve avoided until the age of 54!) to help me continue with improving my fitness. Thank you Big Team Challenge – you have given me the push I needed!”

“I was one of the captains for the FBL teams….we’ve all really loved this challenge. It’s been a great source of encouragement and motivation for us to get outside and get those steps in. The gym is pretty diverse in terms of the members and this was something everyone could get involved in. Would love to hear of any other challenges you run as we’d be keen for signing up to these things, we love a bit of healthy competition between us members! Thanks again for all your organisation, time and effort putting this in place.”

If you took part, please do send you feedback here https://www.activeessex.org/women-like-us-big-team-challenge/

Active Essex – This Girl Can Women Like Us Festival 2023

From 6th – 12th March 2023, across the week of International Women’s Day on 8th March, This Girl Can Essex ambassadors came forward to host free activity sessions to women and girls across the county, for one big Women Like Us festival! Each session was delivered in a non-judgemental, fun and friendly environment, empowering women of all ages and abilities to move in their way, and try something new! A wide range of classes were offered, giving women the chance to try new activities, such as post-natal Pilates, open-water swimming, yoga, walking groups, Zumba dance, drumming and singing, and so much more! FEWI supported this event as it was an ideal opportunity to support women getting active across the county and we are delighted that it was so successful.

In 2024 we are planning a series of similar events and will be concentrating on walking and running as the most accessible form of exercise available.

Women’s Bowling – Essex County Women’s Bowling Association

We sponsored their Unfinished Finals Day in August 2023 and have a full page ad in their 2023 Handbook. We will be doing something similar in 2024 – watch this space!

Women and Girls Cricket – Essex Women’s Softball Cricket

We sponsored Essex Cricket for the 2023 season.  We are helping to provide softball cricket to over 250 women across Essex and East London, culminating in a Finals Day at the Cloud County Ground in Chelmsford.  Softball cricket is designed as an easily accessible form of the game, particularly for new players, of all ages.  This funding will help get women active and in social spaces outdoors over the summer, many of whom do not engage in other physical activity.  And we hope that it will introduce the WI to their players.  We were the named sponsor of their Essex Softball Series with 27 teams across Essex and East London and a 7 team finals day at the county ground in Chelmsford on July 30th 2023.   We have also sponsored two full team kit bags and two sets of team shirts.

Essex Cricket are also offering our members the chance to attend professional women’s cricket games at Essex Cricket as well as the chance to try the game themselves.  Look out in the magazine and bulletins for details about fixtures, free tickets, and taster days.

“With the launch of cricket in the Commonwealth Games and the Hundred, there has never been as much interest in Women’s Cricket as there is now, and we love to see that interest continue to grow in new audiences. Cricket is such an open sport that can be enjoyed in so many ways other than just playing.  Like the WI, cricket creates long lasting friendships and ways of helping local communities; we look forward to working together more in the future.”

We are making plans for 2024 – watch this space!

Donna Harrington (Terling WI) playing Softball Cricket

Women’s Basketball – Essex Rebels

September 2023 – Our sponsorship of the Essex Rebels Women’s Basketball team is now up and running, and their season has already started.  They are based at the Essex Sports Arena which is located at the University of Essex south east of Colchester.  Part of our sponsorship gives us a number of tickets to watch all of their home games this season.  If you would like tickets to any of the games below, please email admin@essexwi.org.uk and we will do our best to accommodate you on a first come first served basis.  The game on the 9th March 2024 will be especially fun because this one will celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, so many of our Trustees will be attending to represent the Federation.  If you would like to attend this one, look out for when the tickets for that game are released by the Rebels on Eventbrite.


Saturday 23 March 2024 4pm

Sunday 14 April 2024 4pm

Saturday 27 April 2024 4pm