Rugby World Cup: Women & sport conference exposes barriers to participation despite success

New Zealand is hosting the 8th Women & Sport Conference this week - the single biggest gathering in the world to advance gender equality in sport.

More than 1200 people will attend the four-day event, with speakers from all over the world, all who want to give women and girls a chance. 

"Really, we will be covering almost every major topic that there is and our programming team has almost 150 global experts from 30 different countries in it," said Women in Sport chief executive Rachel Froggatt. 

Saturday's Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park was an example that the equality gap between the men's and women's game is closing, but despite the celebrations, crowds and cheering,  one big problem still exists.

"The single biggest obstacle we have when it comes to overcoming gender equality issues for women is investment," said Froggatt. 

Investment not only helps elite athletes thrive at a professional level, but without it, young girls miss out, because there aren't enough teams or coaches at the grassroots level.

"Its about trying to get rid of those barriers to make sure that every girl and women, who feel as though sport could be a part of their lives, gets that chance," said UK Sport chair and former Olympic rowing champion Dame Katherine Grainger. 

The way young girls reacted at Eden Park shows just how important investment and exposure is for the future of womens sport.