Girls’ Enjoyment Of PE Declining

We’re disheartened, though it comes as no surprise, to come across the recent report from the Youth Sport Trust.

In response to this survey, 64% of girls expressed their liking for PE, compared to 86% of boys. Enthusiasm decreased as girls got older and was lowest among secondary school girls, where just 59% said they enjoyed PE, resulting in a growing gender “enjoyment gap”, with boys’ enthusiasm remaining high at 86%.

Ali Oliver, the chief executive of the trust, expressed that the report’s findings are “devastating for the physical and mental well-being of young women today.”

It’s almost as if time hasn’t moved since our school days. We weren’t particularly athletic during our youth, but we were always open to trying different sports. However, we distinctly remember that body image concerns and dealing with periods were significant obstacles for many of the girls we knew. And this was before the era of social media inundating us with images of “ideal” (often photoshopped) bodies.

In the article, it’s mentioned that “A Department for Education official stated their plans to improve girls’ participation in sports, which includes promoting schools to provide a minimum of two hours of physical education each week.”

However, this approach won’t address the root issues.

Forcing more mandatory sports on girls who are already uninterested will likely worsen the situation.

The focus should shift toward boosting confidence, presenting relatable role models who aren’t concerned about sweating or body image, fostering conversations about managing physical activities in accordance with the menstrual cycle, and offering a broader array of activities (since not every girl is enthusiastic about netball or hockey). 

Thats what we are doing here at Rising Together!

We should strive to create an environment where girls can build confidence, access realistic role models, and engage in discussions about adapting physical activities to their unique needs, including addressing menstrual cycles. A broader range of sports and activities should be promoted, acknowledging that not every girl will find her passion in traditional choices like netball or hockey.

As a society, it’s our responsibility to ensure that young women can discover the joy of sports, not just for the physical benefits but for the mental and emotional well-being it can bring. Every girl should have the opportunity to marvel at what her body can achieve, irrespective of societal pressures regarding appearance.

Let’s work together to make sports an inclusive, empowering, and enjoyable experience for all, fostering a generation of confident and active young women who can find their passion and unlock their potential through sports.


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