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Sport England’s This Girl Can

Designing and building a virtual timetable adapted for the This Girl Can campaign

Sport England is a public body that aims to encourage everyone in England – regardless of their age, background or ability – to become and stay active. Cyber-Duck was originally engaged to develop Sport England’s digital strategy and main website. Our user research encouraged them to focus their main platform on B2B; B2C would spin-out into standalone brands, just like the incredible This Girl Can. We were excited to support their popular campaign by producing an Activity Finder. It became virtual during COVID-19 – helping women find the best way to keep active.



Launched in January 2015, This Girl Can is Sport England’s nationwide campaign to get women and girls moving. It’s a brilliant initiative that promotes how there’s ‘no right way to get active’ and encourages women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds to get moving in a way that feels fun.

Sport England already had a fantastic stand-alone website, videos, advertising campaigns… but they knew the website could do more. Following our successful work on their main website, Cyber-Duck was engaged to help women feel inspired and find the right activity for them. Our objectives were to: 

  1. Increase the discoverability of activities in their ‘Feel Inspired’ website section
  2. Research, design and build a tool that could help women filter and find activities they’d enjoy

User-centred strategy

Before the project began, This Girl Can already had a popular website with the ‘Feel Inspired’ page. But there was a long list of activities, which was easily overwhelming for users. 

Sport England wanted to explore how to create an Activity Finder with us; existing competitors all looked very similar. This Girl Can could leverage its inclusive vision to help women filter/find what’s best for them.  

They shared their strong user/market research into the five stages of women’s behavioural groups: the precontemplation; contemplation; preparation; motivation; and action. We considered how our work fitted with their existing UX and tone-of-voice at all stages.

Cyber-Duck kicked-off the project with an engaging workshop with This Girl Can’s main stakeholders. With our trusty whiteboard, post-it-notes and pens, we explored their audience and ideas for the goals, filters, barriers and map. We had just four months to deliver.  

We distilled the ‘Feeling Inspired’ section of the website with fun, friendly filters that focused on persona needs, ‘Feeling Stronger’ or ’10 Minutes or Less’.

Together, we designed the Activity Finder. Originally, you could enter your postcode and what you were interested in; it would demonstrate what’s the top in your area and other stuff you might be interested in, to keep women inspired.


Design and development

We iterated prototypes rapidly, moving from sketches into functional design. The idea was to create a unique customised experience, where This Girl Can could feel like a friend recommending the best activities for each user.

For this project, data was critical. Sport England had engaged another agency to gather and pull information about the activities available. Our design had to work with what’s available from crowdsourcing, such as the date, time, and whether it was exclusive for women or not.  

We conducted two rounds of usability testing that ensured it was easy to explore the best activities near them. With user recruitment, we ensured we spoke to a broad set of users that hit specific diversity criteria.  

For development, we worked with the technology platform IMIN. It has an open data API for physical activity providers in England that we used so users could search for local exercise classes/groups based on their postcode.




We designed and built the tool – but weeks before launch, the COVID-19 pandemic locked down the UK. Cyber-Duck was quickly engaged to help Sport England #StayInWorkOut, Unite the Movement and adapt This Girl Can.

Our Developers re-tooled the Activity Finder (with the UI design team) to push activities we could all do at home or locally. Now it’s fully launched, there’s freedom for users to switch between virtual-only and the postcode-search, depending on social distancing guidance at the time.  

We are proud that we have played a part in helping This Girl Can to support and inspire women. The success of the project is borne out by the awards and nominations it has garnered since launch: the platform was a finalist for a BIMA 10 award, and won a DADI Award in the category of Travel/Leisure/Tourism/Sports.

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