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One million girls at odds with sport

One million girls at odds with sport after Primary School

March 30, 2022

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On leaving primary school, nearly 50% of girls find themselves disengaging from sport, despite identifying as ‘sporty’ in their younger years. A survey of 4000 teenage boys and girls performed in collaboration with Women in Sport and funded by Sport England found that 43% of girls had entirely disengaged after primary school.

Women in Sport, a charity supporting research and aims that help women and girls get active, released the report ‘Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls’ last week. Recent guest and CEO of Women in Sport, Stephanie Hilborne, commented on the report, saying:

“It’s an absolute travesty that teenage girls are being pushed out of sport at such a scale. Losing sport from their lives during these formative years equates to a loss of joy as well as good lifelong health. It is well documented that taking part in physical activity can have a profound and positive effect on mental wellbeing as well as provide many pivotal life skills such as resilience, teamwork, and communication.”

The survey comes as advocate and philanthropist for wellbeing and sport, David Gregson, publicised the #BeeWell Report. The report looks at young people’s wellbeing in Manchester and their engagement with sport and activity. A collaboration between the University of Manchester, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Anna Freud Centre, the hope found that girls’ life satisfaction score was a full decimal point behind boys, averaging at 6.2 out of 10, versus the boys at 7.2.

Girls in the survey offered Women in Sport’s researchers the following reasons for their reduced participation:

  • 68% said they had a fear of feeling judged by others
  • 61% had a lack of confidence
  • 47% had pressures due to schoolwork
  • 43% said they did not feel safe outside.


You can find the #BeeWell report here, and ‘Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls’ here.

Don’t forget to check out our latest podcast from Stephanie Hilborne, CEO of Women in Sport, and her thoughts on engagement amongst women and girls in sport on The Drive Phase podcast.

Tune in to the show everywhere you get your podcasts!

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