The report by Women in Sport, funded by Comic Relief, found out how the pandemic has affected teenage girls' relationship with sport and fitness, and how they feel about being active after lockdown
While we love the feeling of moving our bodies now, many of us will remember that familiar feeling of dread when PE class came around.
But things are changing, and a new study from Women in Sport, funding by Comic Relief, has found that lockdown has led teenage girls to recognise the value of exercise for both physical and mental health.
An amazing 82% of participants said that they plan on putting more effort into being active when life returns to normal, which we think is great news for everyone. Women in Sport agree: “Participation in sport is well known to improve both mental and physical health, to improve mood and self-esteem and to build life skills. We believe strongly that girls should not be denied the joy, fulfilment and lifelong benefits of sport and exercise,” they say.
But with 45% of the study’s participants citing loss of confidence in their sporting ability and concern around how to get back into an exercising habit, the charity are calling for changes to help make female fitness more approachable and enjoyable for the next generation.
“We want more recognition of the importance of sport and exercise for girls, and increased guidance and support for teenage girls as they navigate their way back into activity as the restrictions ease,” they explain. They’re calling for:
- More opportunities to be provided both in and out of school for girls to take part in sport and physical activity that meets their needs.
- Action by local authorities to ensure outdoor spaces are safe and accessible to girls.
- Online exercise offers that meet girls’ needs, including classes designed exclusively with teenage girls in mind, to boost engagement.
To read the full report, click here. If you’re an educator, fitness instructor or anyone who can help to drive change, Women in Sport have a whole host of useful resources on their website.