The BBC have today (7/11/17) published an article entitled ‘Tubby and terrified: How fear puts girls off P.E”. Within this report, Judith Burns quotes figures from ‘new research’ from 25,000 secondary schools which suggests that only 8% of girls and 16% of boys manage to do the recommended 1 hour of exercise a day. Burns also quotes survey data from the Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport that indicated that more than 80% of teenagers understood why it is important to be active but that two-third of girls surveyed and almost half of the boys surveyed were ‘less than keen’ on taking part in exercise themselves. Burns states “the research suggests lack of confidence is the key” and links this to more than a third of females (aged over 14) reporting that they felt “insecure”, “hated other people watching them” and were “self-conscious of their bodies”. According to Burns, almost two-thirds of the survey respondents said that they did not like P.E lessons that were competitive. Unfortunately, the BBC report does not include links to the research stated, nor does it go on to explore why young, teenage girls might feel a lack of confidence about taking part in P.E, or consider what steps to take to help improve confidence and participation.
For some readers, the article may have left them with more questions than answers:
- Is this unique to teenage girls?
- Only 16% of boys reported achieving the recommended daily exercise is also concerning, did the research explore this further?
- Is this a phenomenon that starts at an earlier age?
- What are the wider implications for health and well-being of young people?
- Has the approach of teenage girls to PE significantly changed recently? Or has this always been a matter of concern?
- Is this reflective on an underlying issue around resilience?
Read the BBC article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41893475
Read more about engaging teenagers in exercise here:
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