Upon launching its new manifesto named Future Girl, UK charity Girlguiding wants young girls to have access to adventure and play without fear.
They also want the young girls of today to have the chance to play the sports typically played by boys, to enjoy activity spaces that are accessible to all girls, as well as for women’s sport to be treated equally to men’s.
Unfortunately, the statistic still stands that by age 14, girls drop out of sports at a rate of 1.5 times more than boys.
But by moulding young girls into adventurers and self-believers, school sports could become more inclusive and exceedingly diverse.
To counteract this calculation, how can teachers support young girls and encourage them to carry on with sports?
Conducting regular self-esteem workshops is a great way for teachers to support young girls to carry on with sports.
Alternatively, integrating self-esteem activities into the classroom for all students to experience would benefit everyone.
For example, teachers could ask groups of students to present interesting facts about their favourite female sports star or all-female sports team and showcase their accolades to the class.
By encouraging students to research these topic areas, students will start to see how equal the playing field really is, or can be.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) May 26, 2019
Freedom of style
To support a diverse team of players, teachers may have to be lenient when it comes to PE kit attire.
Encouraging young girls to feel comfortable on the courts, pitch or in the pool may lead to increased participation and enthusiasm for the sport.
Rewriting the rules and allowing exceptions for different styles of PE kit may also prevent self-conscious moments while participating in sports.
Rather than worry about their attire, young girls may shift their focus towards their agility and sporting abilities.
In this girls’ football team players can wear whatever they want, from islamic dress to shorts and a t-shirt.
The inclusive team are encouraging more girls from ethnic minority backgrounds to take up the sport.
— ITV Wales News (@ITVWales) May 23, 2019
Arranging sports trips in exotic and fun locations may spark interest within the student community.
By making a trip out of it, young girls who love sports and travel will jump at the chance to get involved!
While on the trip, they can make new friends and strengthen the team spirit through school activities and tournaments.
Not only will this boost their cultural awareness, but their sense of togetherness may also extend and continue throughout match season.
Y8 & 9 Girls Sports Tour having a fabulous time in Estapona, Spain. Netball, hockey & football fixtures have gone really well. Lots & lots of laughs. Members of the public commenting on how kind, helpful and well-mannered our 49 students were – we very much agree! 🏐🏑⚽️ pic.twitter.com/IJ0GBZbmz9
— Lymm High School (@LymmHighSchool) May 25, 2019
Regardless of the method of support teachers opt for, as long as young girls feel comfortable to continue sports in school, progress is being made.
By shifting expectations and tackling inequality, we are just a hop, a skip and a jump away from a balanced playing field!