Sports minister Helen Grant has said her comments about getting women into sport have been 'taken out of context'.
Comments made by sports and equalities minister Helen Grant have been criticised by anti-sexism campaigners as "discouraging" at a time when female Olympians are leading the glory for Britain at the Sochi games.
Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates, said: "It's really the wrong approach to suggest that the only way for women to get involved in sports is to be girlie and feminine."It's actually discouraging for a minister to say this.
"With our great athletes performing fantastically at the Olympics, we still see media outlets focusing on the looks and femininity, which the comments seem to do too."
Lizzy Yarnold, 25, won the country's first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in the skeleton while Jenny Jones took a bronze in snowboard slopestyle and so did the female curling team.
Speaking of a recent YMCA rollerblading event for girls aged between seven and 17 Helen Grant said:
Ms Grant added that the media needs to increase its coverage of female sport and businesses also need to offer support through sponsorship.
The sports and equalities minister has said feminine sports like Zumba and cheerleading should be offered in a bid to narrow the gender gap in sport.
Helen Grant said women should be given "what they want" when it comes to sport and not forced to take part in football or swimming, adding that they can still look "absolutely radiant".
She made the comments to The Daily Telegraph in an interview about how to increase the number of women taking part in sport, highlighting that 1.8 million more men than women play sport regularly.
"[Women] don't have to feel unfeminine," she said."There are some wonderful sports which you can do and perform to a very high level and I think those participating look absolutely radiant and very feminine such as ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading and even roller-skating.
"We really need to take a step back and actually ask women what they want and give it to them."Whether it's a Zumba class or a game of rounders after they've dropped the kids off. That's the approach we need to take - what works for them."
The MP for Maidstone and the Weald says more schools should offer dance lessons for children who don't like traditional sport. Helen Grant is the government's minister for sport - she was asked how to get more youngsters physically active.
We challenged new Sports Minister - and Maidstone MP - Helen Grant to answer five sporting questions. The correct answers are: Marion Bartoli, Wigan Athletic, Chris Robshaw, 1992, and Jacqueline Freney.
Mrs Grant told us "I wasn't told there was going to be a quiz on Saturday night. If I'd known I would have done some proper revision. My sports pub quiz knowledge may not be encyclopaedic but I understand the positive impact that participating in sport has on people's lives."
VIDEO: The MP for Maidstone and the Weald is being criticised because of her expenses. It's been revealed that Helen Grant claims £20,000 a year for a second home in London. She hasn't broken any rules, as our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby explains.
Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone & the Weald has been named as joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Ministry of Justice and for Women’s & Equality issues in David Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle.