Women's Sport Week 2017: what is it and why should you care?

At the start of a busy summer for female sport, Women's Sport Week is back to promote the very best of the action and will run from June 19-25.

The campaign is an opportunity for those involved with playing and working in sport to celebrate, raise awareness and increase the profile of women's sport across the UK. This year's initiative focuses specifically on getting more women, more active.

While 2017 has already seen a goldmine of international women's sporting events, there is still more to come: the Women's Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, the Women's European Football and Hockey championships all take place this year.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport, is in full support of the campaign.

"We want more women and girls to get involved in sport and enjoy the huge benefits that being active brings to their lives," Crouch said.

"Women's Sport Week is a fantastic campaign that encourages more women to try out a new sport or physical activity and celebrates the amazing achievements of our female athletes, coaches and volunteers."

Why is Women's Sport Week important?

Now, more than ever, is the time to listen-up to female sports. Grassroots participation is rising rapidly in the UK and media coverage is picking up, too. Not least because of the female athletes paving the way in their respective professional games. And doing it superbly well at that; leaving a trail of gold medals, World Cups and Ashes in their wake.

At the London Olympics in 2012, women competed in all sports for the first time in the history of the Games, and Rio 2016 saw the highest female participation, ever (45.2 per cent).

And these sportswomen are converting participation into success. Team GB's women bagged 28 gold medals in Rio, and that doesn't account for the the England Women's cricket team claiming Ashes victory in 2013, the England Women's Rugby team winning the 2014 World Cup and the Lionesses finishing third in the 2015 FIFA World Cup, too.

What's more, the only way is up- as participation continues to soar, as will the successes. So, if you don't want to be left out of the conversation this summer, here are the key events to look out for...

Key dates for your diary:

CRICKET -- Women's World Cup (England) June 24 - July 23

LACROSSE -- World Championship (England) July 12-22

FOOTBALL -- European Championship (Netherlands) July 16 - August 6

GOLF -- Women's Open (Scotland) August 3-6

RUGBY UNION -- Women's World Cup (Ireland) August 9-26

HOCKEY -- Women's Eurohockey Championship (Netherlands) August 19-27

BADMINTON -- World Championship (England) August 21-27

Check out ESPNW for all of the best female sports coverage, comment and analysis. Top picks this week include: