Getting to know... Women in Sport
We discovered the great initiative of Changing the Game for Girls, ran by the UK Charity Women in Sport, and wanted to help this fantastic project through the money we donate to women's sport.
We asked them a few questions, to describe the intentions and reasons behind establishing this fantastic project, and how the Boudavida donation will help.
Who are Women in Sport?
We are a national charity who want to address the gender imbalance in sport by empowering women and girls in the UK through sport. We believe there should be opportunities created for every woman and girl in the UK to be physically active and be able to play any sport from her early years throughout her life. We work with girls of all ages, but we have identified ages 7 and 13 as the years when girls are most likely to turn away from exercise (partly due to rising social pressures).
What challenges do girls face that might make them more likely to stop being interested in sport and exercise?
There are certain stages of a girl’s life that we call the ‘tipping point’, where they are less likely to want to engage in sport. This is due to increasing awareness of gender stereotypes, becoming more self-conscious and less confident.
Key challenges for girls include:
– Gender stereotype conditioning from an early age, which means that girls begin to disengage with sport as early as age seven, due to seeing sport as a “boy” activity.
– Secondary school age girls perceive there to be more barriers to taking part in PE and school sport than boys – 82% of girls identify at least one barrier compared to only 58% of boys.
– The number of teenage girls playing sport remains largely static, and consistently lower than the number of boys for the past 10 years.
Why should girls take part in physical activity?
The benefits of sport include better cognitive function, behaviour, attendance and academic outcomes, which girls who are not active miss out on.
Girls who play more sport have lower self-objectification and body image concerns, and a recent study by UEFA found that 46% of girls who play sport feel more confident than other girls their age. Teenage girls who engage in sport at least once a week are significantly more likely to enter a management role once employed, then those who are physically inactive at this age.
How will the boudavida donation help the charity?
As we are a charity, we rely on donations to enable our work to happen. Our work currently reaches 17,000 girls in the UK and over 375 sports clubs and organisations who engage with them. Support will enable us to expand the number of girls and organisations we can work with, ensuring all girls can access the physical, mental, emotional and social benefits that sport provide, in order to lead fulfilling lives.