Girls Active supports schools to understand what motivates girls to take part in physical activity. It enables teachers to work with the girls – through consultation and leadership – to make the necessary changes to their physical education (PE), sport and physical activity provision. Developed by the Youth Sport Trust, and delivered in partnership with This Girl Can and Women in Sport, Girls Active is funded by Sport England.
The Chief Medical Officers (CMO) recommend that all children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day. Research shows that;
- by age 7 girls are already less active than boys and this disparity widens as they move from childhood into adolescence.
- secondary-age girls are more likely to experience barriers to participation than boys
- the biggest drop-off occurs during the transition from primary to secondary school, with disruption to friendship groups and declining body confidence affecting girls’ participation in PE and sport.
In order to address this alarming reality, we developed Girls Active as the result of our work with 20 secondary schools through a 12-month pilot aimed at tackling the negative attitudes that girls have towards their body image, improve their attitude towards PE, sport and physical activity, and to work with schools to make sport more relevant to girls' lives.
With over 200 schools now part of the Girls Active network, this year we will support a further 250 schools. Secondary schools and for the first time, primary schools will be supported to implement changes in their own school and work together to support girls’ experiences as they transition from primary to secondary.
The latest data from Girls Active through its Stepping Up for Change initiative shows that there is a confidence crisis in young girls stopping them from getting active from the age of seven. The research involved 5,454 boys and girls aged 7 to 11-years-old across England. It shows that even in primary school, almost twice as many girls as boys report that a lack of confidence stops them being active in school. For more information read the Girls Active Summary Interim Research Report (Nov 18).
In November 2017, we released research in partnership with Women in Sport, which highlighted the large gender gap in attitudes to physical activity for teenagers that Girls Active is seeking to address. You can read more about the findings here.
Girls Active Awards 2018
Girls who are already involved in the Girls Active programme will have the chance to celebrate their achievements in getting more of their peers active with the launch of the 2018 Girls Active Awards. The Awards are a celebration of the work 8 to 18-year-old girls are doing in primary and secondary schools across the UK through the programme to get their peers moving and enjoying PE and physical activity.
For more information and to apply, visit girlsactive.youthsporttrust.org.
How can my school get involved?
You can become part of the Girls Active network by following these simple steps:
- Get started now with a self-review to benchmark your school's provision for girls
- Agree three actions for your school to take to help drive a difference for girls, and submit your pledges
- Register your interest below for forthcoming Girls Active teacher training opportunities.