Ahead of International Women’s Day, Women in Sport surveyed 4,000 teenage girls and boys as part of its research work Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls, funded by Sport England. It has has found that more than one million teenage girls (43%) who once considered themselves ‘sporty’, disengage from sport following primary school. A fear of feeling judged by others (68%), lack of confidence (61%), pressures of schoolwork (47%) and not feeling safe outside (43%) were some of the reasons given for not wanting to participate for this group of girls.
The charity is calling for the sport, leisure, and education sectors to work harder to prevent teenage girls from gradually disengaging from sport. Activity offerings need to be reframed to cater for the changing needs of girls and make them feel they deserve to play, whatever their level of ability.