Developing belonging in PE, sport and physical activity for all girls

The theme for the International Women’s Day 2023 campaign is ‘Embracing Equity’. The aim of the campaign is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren't enough.

New research released by Women in Sport today, focuses on girls aged 5-11 years and why girls still feel they don’t belong in sport. The report, Sport, Stereotypes and Stolen Dreams found girls are heavily influenced by parents, family, peers and the school environment, with media and marketing playing more of a role as girls get older.

This is consistent with Youth Sport Trust’s insight and delivery of our Girls Active programme to over 1,000 primary and secondary schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since 2015. Girls’ participation, self-belief and enjoyment are all lower than that of boys, with disparity in primary age and a continuing decline through adolescence.

Through their report, Women in Sport is calling for parents, schools and coaches to help create a positive environment to enable girls to develop a passion for being active. The report sets out a number of success factors that we all should reflect and challenge ourselves further to create the right environment, positive early experiences and equity for girls.

Girls Active is an award-winning approach that helps primary and secondary schools understand what motivates girls to take part, enabling teachers to work with girls through consultation and leadership to take positive action and make the necessary changes to their PE, sport and physical activity provision to engage all girls in ways that appeal to them.

By using the positive environment and having the Girls Active resources, it’s helped to change the mindset of the girls.  We worked on reasons as to why they don’t like PE.

PE Teacher
PE Teacher

The Youth Sport Trust, supported by Sport England and the National Lottery, is providing all schools in England with access to the Girls Active programme. Girls Active: Getting Started provides free online modular training and supporting resources to help teachers and other school workforce to consider:

  • Why the Girls Active approach will support your school
  • How Girls Active is best delivered to support girls’ belonging, enjoyment and confidence
  • What steps to take, specific to your school context, to develop the Girls Active approach.

To find out more access the resources here.

If you need further support, please get in touch: [email protected]

Published on 6 March 2023