For the last 15 years, the Youth Sport Trust has been driving change in the area of gender inequalities with a much-needed focus on girls. Providing girls with equal access and opportunities to the life-changing benefits of PE and sport is crucial. However, have we left the issues of boys’ disaffection, wellbeing and achievement behind? That is the key question that Youth Sport Trust Lead Health & Wellbeing Schools and Head Teacher Ambassadors have been asking us.
With this in mind, the power of sport and physical activity can be used as a tool to improve wellbeing and achievement in young males. It has been well-established that regular physical activity can enhance social, emotional, and physical wellbeing which can enhance health-related quality of life. While it is important that these methods are implemented for all boys to promote positive wellbeing, such methods should be targeting those who are at most risk of ‘falling out of the system’. The ability of these boys to achieve academically isn’t being catered for by the curriculum. The power of sport has the potential to develop boys’ skills and wellbeing from an early age to prevent such issues leading to a clinical diagnosis of a mental health disorder, exclusion from school, or involvement in the criminal justice system.