Youth reaps many benefits from performance in sports that include a healthier body, self-confidence, self-esteem, discipline, and stronger relations with peers and adults. Girls cannot take these benefits because they are less interested in taking part in useful and enjoyable Sports activities. A study suggests that a drop out ratio of girls in sports participation is more than boys due to their indifference. As a matter of fact, the benefits of sports are highly effective for both. Taking into account the ground realities, the girls need these sports benefits more than boys need. Girls take less interest in sports owing to some reasons. In order to enhance their participation, some potential steps need to be taken.
Reasons as to Why Girls Disapprove of Sports
There are various surveys and studies available that suggest that due to lack of fun, cost barriers, cultural norms, safety and security concerns, accessibility, gender discrimination, and parents empowerment. A comprehensive survey indicates a decline in girls’ participation in the U.S., Australia, Canada, England, and other countries due to one or other reasons.
1. Cultural Messages
According to research and surveys, girls think that sports are for boys. These were also the comments of Marjorie Sunder, WSF’s senior director. She emphasizes that the girls while going to games or sports clubs, face a number of issues especially the male-dominant environment. A girl joining a gym finds all the posters of boys on the wall and a male trainer, and none of the girls and women playing sports. Moreover, she hardly finds a female coach exceptionally. Hence, a girl seeing such an environment starts receiving different messages from their social circles and relatives. This is not a good omen that also discourages and causing thereby loss of confidence level in girls. This happens because girls hail from different cultural and family backgrounds. Vera Lopez, a University professor, has stated in her research report that the girls always feel self-conscious, insecure, and afraid of making mistakes because of a fear of getting teased. These messages come from institutions, interpersonal relationships including schools, coaches, teachers, and peers. Further, family expectations especially are also barriers for girls. At a certain age, some girls start supporting greater family responsibilities. Besides, the security and safety issues especially sexual harassment do matter for a large number of girls.
2. Not fun Anymore
According to the National Youth Sports Survey, the average youth ageing 11, quits sports because it is not fun anymore. As a matter of fact, when you end up treating kids as mini-adults and asking them to do things they are just not capable of physically, mentally, or emotionally. Instead of encouraging them to take initiative and make them feel independent, the adults use their authority and position to impose things.
According to different surveys and research reports, the pay-to-play model sometimes excludes kids. In this regard, the State of Play report found U.S. families spend an average of $693 per child per year to play one sport. Thus, kids from the lower-income class are less likely to participate. Further, the kids who play sports in high school get opportunities as compared to other types of public schools. There is sheer discrimination on school levels too.
The Project Play supports a variety in sports. They are staunch believers and of view that the specialization at an early age in one sport can cause overuse and injuries. Girls are less likely to play multiple sports as compared to boys.
In order to enhance and promote the girls’ participation in sports, a few concrete steps need to be taken. Increased participation of girls in sports would develop their multiple skills especially self-confidence and self-esteem. Thus, all problems in the way of girl’s sports promotion have to be addressed with potential solutions.