Sporting Role Models: Get Around Them

Role Models.

There is always talk about what a role model constitutes and their importance to every individual in society; mainly related to whose values, successes and behaviour they wish to emulate as they progress through life.

A role model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. (Wikipedia)

In today’s world, young women are bombarded with a constant influx of images of external beauty, which can cause them to question themselves and how they should look, but what they need are the strong, confident, healthy female athlete role models. Peer pressure is difficult for girls of all ages but female athletes can help offset that by encouraging girls to participate in sports and maintain a healthy active lifestyle. Too often do we see role models portrayed in the media as mainstream high-profile celebrities that quite often have little to offer in terms of life lessons, correct behaviour and strong core values. With studies showing girls as young as 9 can develop a self-consciousness about their bodies which leads to them dropping out of sport, this needs to change.

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Stories like that of Jessica Watson completing a solo round-the-world sailing expedition against all odds, to Lauren Jackson coming from the small town of Albury in southern New South Wales to becoming in her prime the most damaging female basketball player on the planet, or someone like Ellyse Perry who not only dominates female cricket on an international scale but continues to dabble in football at a national level such is her talent, need to be further promoted and celebrated in the media to encourage young women to get out and be active.

Role models for sporting participation do not just need to come from the elite ranks however, as parents, coaches, teachers or even older siblings often have a profound effect on a young girl and how they view themselves and their chosen sport. These close bonds with young females can empower them to continue to pursue sporting success or just harness its recreational benefits throughout life.

Having a role model in sport is an important part of social learning that allows girls to emulate the positive aspects of attitude, work ethic, and social dynamics and provides them the opportunity to envision themselves in the role of coach, leader and/or athlete that they may not otherwise have. Our page will continue to bring more of them to light!

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