Sporty girls are healthy girls

Girls can play rugby

picture R Martindale


Sport has been in the news a lot this week – for all the wrong reasons. It’s time to look at the positive.

It’s Women in Sport Week and, in the light of Sepp Blatter’s resignation announcement, I was rather amused to hear some of his more cringeworthy comments. Notably the eye rolling one about increasing the popularity of women’s football by making them wear tighter shorts and low cut tops.

Time to celebrate the postives of women’s sport, I think. Taking part in sport can promote health, wellbeing, teamwork, camaraderie and confidence among girls that can last a lifetime. Something which is much needed if today’s published research on the massive increase in people being treated for eating disorders is to be believed.

School sport has moved on from circuit training in a smelly gym on ancient equipment. Truly there is something to suit everyone on offer in most schools although the demands of the National Curriculum has sometimes forced it into the domain of extra curricular activity, rather than being integral to the curriculum across all age groups. Local swimming pools regularly run free sessions for young people in school holidays and there are hundreds of sports clubs supporting girls up and down the country field  including Bradford on Avon rugby above where girls play on a level playing field with boys (excuse the pun) until they join the girls only Bobcats team at age 13. I know girls who do everything from competitive salsa dancing and badminton to triathlon and rugby and everything in between. And the element of competition is as valid for girls as it is for boys.Being able to face victory and defeat with equal grace is a vital life skill.

Celebrate Women in Sport Week by encouraging the females in your life to get active, get competitive and set themselves up for a healthy life, in the fullest sense of the word. There are plenty of sports to choose from.

...or girls can ride horses.
…or girls can ride horses.

picture T Fussell

3 thoughts on “Sporty girls are healthy girls

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  1. I am in complete agreement! I learned the benefits of team sports, in our case rugby, first hand, with our son taking part for about 8 years. So much more is gained, than just exercise, as you point out. He also played alongside two girls, who then went on to play with Worcester and one even represented England. But rugby, as a sport, was sadly, not played at his school! He is now the healthiest of all of us, and is now a Personal Trainer. We have had no daughters though, to encourage!

  2. lovely blog, but with respect to horse riding, what I don’t understand is how at junior level anything horse related is so totally dominated by girls yet at the very top level it becomes dominated by men. Where do they come from? Also I feel girls approach to sport is so different from boys. With boys so much seems to be about rufty tufty competition, both with their teammates and opposition and of course they love to show off, but with girls it seems it is all about just getting it right! And they don’t stop until they do. Some lessons for us all!

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