What Are the Barriers Which Discourage 15-16 Year-Old Girls from Participating in Team Sports and How Can We Overcome Them?

Abigail Wetton, Rebecca Radley, Angela Jones, Mark Pearce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Given the clear benefits of regular physical activity (such as reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and obesity, as well as other benefits including those related to mental health), exploration of the reasons that adolescent girls give for not taking part in team sports may be particularly valuable for enhancing later rates of participation. We combined questionnaires and semistructured interviews to assess the barriers that prevent 15-16-year-old girls from participating in extracurricular team games and what can be done to overcome these barriers and improve physical activity levels. Four barriers became prominent as to why girls in this sample do not participate: Internal Factors, Existing Stereotypes, Other Hobbies and Teachers. Methods to overcome these barriers were identified; changing teachers’ attitudes and shifting the media’s focus away from male sport. Following the successful summer Olympics and Paralympics in the UK, and the resulting positive focus on some of the nation’s female athletes, a shift in focus may be possible. However, this needs to be maintained to allow girls more opportunities, role models and motivation to participate in sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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