Girls start doing less activity than boys as soon as they're eight or nine. By the time they're 14, only 12% of girls are active enough. And by the time they leave school, they have habits and perceptions that are hard to shift.
23% of women say school PE put them off activity for life.
Some girls enjoy exercise but drop out when they
leave school or university. For others, PE at school leaves a lasting
impression of being ignored in favour of 'sporty' classmates. Or 'horrible' changing rooms and a lack of choice or encouragement
Media stereotypes affect young minds
Ideas about body image start early too. The notion that thin equals attractive causes girls and young women to muddle dieting with a healthy lifestyle.
None of this is helped by a media that reinforces stereotypes, fails to show enough women's sport, or feature stories about women in sport. Which is a real shame when X% of girls say that seeing more women win medals would inspire them to be more active.
What we're doing
We're following up and working with secondary
schools that have received our Changing the Game for Girls toolkit.
We're lobbying Government for a school sport policy that really recognises and supports girls' needs.
We're giving girls a greater voice by working with partners like Youth Sport Trust and Girlguiding.
We're raising the profile of elite athletes so that girls grow up with more role models to inspire them.