The latest Sport England Active Lives Children and Young People 2021-22 survey records some positive headlines. Overall activity levels for children and young people appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, it is a rise in activity levels among 7-16 year-old boys that is driving the increase, with girls remaining less active than boys in every school year. Overall activity levels are well below ideal and there are some stark gender gaps as well as racial and economic inequalities playing out.

As relative normality resumes, there has been a substantial shift in the types of activity children and young people are taking part in. Swimming, team sport and racquet sports have returned whilst lockdown surges in going for walks, cycle rides, running and multi-sports have largely dipped. Encouragingly active travel has increased for all and for girls aged between 13-16 there’s been a slight (2.5%) rise in activity levels from last year, to 45%.

There are still huge numbers of teenage girls disengaging from sport during secondary school, as found in the Women in Sport report Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls: Tackling Teenage Disengagement.

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Source: Women in Sport