To acknowledge the International Day of the Girl, we decided to take a closer look at the impact the pandemic has had on girls in sport and how we can take action, now, to keep them engaged.
The Pandemic Impact on Girls in Sport Report by Canadian Women & Sport
“The Pandemic Impact on Girls in Sport Report, which collected data from over 5,000 Canadian families, shows that 1 in 4 girls are not committed to returning to sport. If we don’t act now to counter this trend, we might realize a new normal of over 350,000 girls sitting on the sidelines in the post-COVID-19 world.”
You can download the full report by clicking here.
Interview with CBC: Pandemic slows girls’ participation in sport
“Physical activity levels have plummeted during the pandemic. For every boy that stops participating in sport, it is predicted that 4 girls will call it quits. But research offers tips on how to keep girls engaged and active for longer. Faith Fundal spoke to Wayne McNeil with Respect Group, an organization that developed a program designed to keep girls in sport.”
You can listen to the full interview with our co-founder by clicking here.
The Keeping Girls in Sport program
The Keeping Girls in Sport program was created to address the challenge of high dropout rates amongst girls from sport during adolescence, aiming to give coaches and youth leaders the tools to understand and address the barriers to girls’ continued participation in sport.
We know that sport and physical activity have powerful impacts on our mental, physical, emotional, and social health, yet, even with all the positive benefits of being active girls and women are becoming less active and leaving sport.
It’s frustrating, but there are many reasons girls leave sport. Too many competing demands for their time between work and family, financial pressures, social pressure girls feel from comparing themselves to unrealistic media images, expectations of femininity, and the list goes on.
The Keeping Girls in Sport program examines these pressures, and suggests proactive ways to keep girls engaged, and excited about participating in sport and physical activity. It provides insights from girls, in their own voices, about the influence sport has in their lives. By empowering girls and helping them see themselves in a more positive light, as both capable athletes and dynamic individuals, we set them up for success. Whether they participate simply for fun and recreation, reach levels of elite competition, or grow up to be coaches and leaders themselves, that influence carries over into every aspect of a girl’s life.
So, if you coach, lead, or mentor a girl, this program is for you. It’s about reflecting on who you are as a leader, how you lead, and how you can support every girl who participates. While coaching girls and boys is largely the same, there are some unique differences that we need to consider so we can create the best possible sport environment for girls and women.