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Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls

Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls

Categories: Active Sussex News Coach & Volunteering This Girl Can

Leading UK Charity, Women in Sport, has released new research putting the spotlight on teenage girls. 

Barriers to exercise created at this age can end up inhibiting participation throughout their life, with girls missing out on the lifelong benefits of sport.

Shockingly, studies have shown that teenage girls are significantly less active than teenage boys, with only 10% of girls aged 13-16 meeting the recommended daily guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity per day (Sport England, 2018).

The 'Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls’ study puts the world of teenage girls at the heart of its research to understand what motivates them in their wider lives and looks at how sport can be reframed to be more relevant to girls’ lives, particularly for those deemed ‘not sporty’.

Key findings 

Five important anchors which reflect what girls’ value most in their lives and these build the foundations of who they will become;

  • Support Network – family and friends give girls a sense of place in the world, relationships with mums being particularly important.
  • Socially Connected – social media use gives girls validation, time dedicated to this means deprioritising other activities.
  • Independence and New Experiences – girls want independence and freedom to make choices and have new exciting experiences, which build formative memories.
  • Moment of Pride – a sense of achievement that fuels self-worth, builds confidence and personal growth.
  • Keeping on Top of it All (re-prioritisation) – girls have to set their own priorities, what they ‘must do’ vs what they ‘want to do’ in their day-to-day lives.

The 8 Principles of Success 

Women in Sport have developed 8 Principles of Success to support organisations to bridge the ‘relevance gap’ in sport for girls and ensure it has a more meaningful place in their lives: 

  1. No Judgement – take the pressure off performance and give girls freedom simply to play
  2. Invoke Excitement – bring a sense of adventure and discovery.
  3. Clear Emotional Reward – reframe achievement as ‘moments of pride’, not winning.
  4. Open Their Eyes to What’s There – redefine sport as more than school sport.
  5. Build into Existing Habits – tap into existing behaviours in other spheres.
  6. Give Girls a Voice and Choice – allow girls choice and control to feel empowered.
  7. Champion What’s in it for Them – make it much more than just about health.
  8. Expand Image of What ‘Sporty’ Looks Like – create truly relatable role models which inspire.

More information 

  • Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls Toolkit here.
  • Women in Sport executive report here.
  • Full Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls study here. 

How can we help?

As part of our primary role, and in line with our visionary Active Sussex Strategy 2018-2023, we are tasked with encouraging inactive local people to get involved in regular physical activity.

One of our key focus groups is young people aged 14-19 years, including, helping in preventing girls from dropping out of sport and physical activity in their teenage years.

We can offer support in setting up a Satellite club; extensions, or outposts of community sports clubs which are established in a new venue, sometimes a secondary school or college, or a community venue. 

Satellite Clubs 

Active Sussex has identified 5 key working areas for future satellite clubs. Those are: 

  • 14-19’s in education transition
  • Inactive 14-19’s
  • People with disabilities 14-19’s
  • Low Socio Economic Groups 14-19’s
  • Young people with barriers to sport (e.g. anxiety, mental health issues, cultural)

Active Sussex is looking for partner organisations to roll out the Satellite Club programme in Sussex, if you have a programme aimed at teenage girls or any of our key working areas please get in touch. 

This Girl Can 

We support the This Girl Can, Sport England, national campaign. It’s a sassy celebration of active women everywhere who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get.

  • Find out about our Active Sussex #ThisGirlCan Ambassador here
  • Try out our 'Fit Got Real' video here
  • Become a This Girl Can Supporter here
  • Join the social media conversation using #FitGotReal hashtag
  • Promote your group, class, project or story with Active Sussex
  • Apply for Sport England's Small Grants Programme here

Active Sussex contacts 

For more information about Satellite Clubs please contact Jo Ashworth, Strategic Relationship Manager, E: jashworth@activesussex.org / T: 01273 644139. 

For #ThisGirlCan promotions information, please contact Active Sussex's PR & Communications Officer, Ruth Dacey, E: rdacey@activesussex.org / T: 01273 644153 / 07432507429.