Girls learn skills to lead and engage least active peers

As part of a new Girls Active Coaches Camp, 120 girls aged 16 to 18 will be invited to a training camp to promote sport for fun and participation rather than competition

Softball, dance, parkour and football are just some of the sports that will be used to give girls the coaching skills they need to return to their schools and community to engage their least active peers.

As part of a new Girls Active Coaches Camp, developed by national children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust, 120 girls from across the country aged 16 to 18-years-old will be invited to a three-day training camp to promote sport for fun and participation rather than competition.

Taking place between 23 and 25 March, it will give them the opportunity to come away with skills that will enable them to ‘coach’ and engage their least active peers in their own schools and communities.

The Girls Active Coaches Camp is being delivered by YST, National Governing Bodies, Loughborough University and activity providers as part of the Girls Active programme, which is funded by Sport England though National Lottery funding and delivered in partnership with This Girl Can and Women in Sport.

Professional tennis coach Judy Murray will be speaking at the camp to inspire the girls and talk about her experience of carving a career in the sport industry.

The three-day camp will take place at Loughborough University in Leicestershire.

Judy Murray said:

I’m really looking forward to being involved in the Girls Active Coaches Camp this weekend as part of my She Rallies programme with the LTA. I’m always happy to share my journey and experiences, particularly if it will help more girls and women to engage in sport and tennis, and encourage enjoyment and fun, rather than making it too serious too soon.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of Youth Sport Trust, said:

We know from research that competition switches some girls off from sport – with only 50% aged 11 to 16 stating they like it when PE lessons are competitive. This is a significant number of girls that are left feeling isolated when physical activity takes this approach.

Through the new Girls Active Coaches Camp we will support girls to be inspired to be the change towards getting more girls active by using PE and sport for enjoyment, participation and personal development rather than competition.

Heather Smith, Senior Innovation Manger at Women in Sport, said:

Having real and relatable role models is essential for making sport and physical activity seem possible for girls who have previously been put off by it. This camp will give aspiring coaches the leadership skills and experience they need to be effective in creating sustainable change in the lives of their less active peers.

Emma Atkins, Director of Coaching at UK Coaching, said:

We are delighted to see girls encouraged into coaching at a young age through the Youth Sport Trust’s Girls Active Coaches Camp.

Projects such as this help to address the gender balance across the whole of the coaching community and ensure we have a diverse workforce that can meet the needs of a wide range of participants, to provide them with the best possible experience in sport and physical activity.

What’s more, those taking part will discover how great coaching provides great experiences for the coach too, enabling them to learn transferable skills that can be used in all walks of life.

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