Have you noticed a decline in girls’ participation in your volleyball club? This is not only true in volleyball, but this is a general trend worldwide shared in many sports and in many countries. However, it is possible to reverse the trend if we understand the issues of this age group among the young female public and use an adapted strategy with good tools and easy actions to implement.

That is a reality: In the UK for instance, more than 1 million girls who consider themselves ‘sporty’ at primary school lose interest in physical activity as teenagers. This is according to estimates based on a new survey carried out by Women in Sport at the beginning of 2022. And teenage girls were much more likely to say they used to be sporty but were no longer keen on exercise than boys. And this trend can unfortunately be generalized to Europe. A report on the findings concluded that girls may need more support to engage in sport as they go through puberty. According to the survey, among respondents aged between 11 and 16, just 37% of girls enjoyed physical activity compared with 54% of boys. By age 17 to 18, just 3 in 10 girls would describe themselves as sporty, compared with 6 in 10 boys. Of previously “sporty” girls, 73% said their dislike of others watching them was an obstacle to them taking part in exercise.

Author: Anne-Laure Michel (Project Manager at the NGO Athletes Inspire Children)

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