Confidence is very important to instill in young girls and it is a quality many female athletes exemplify both in and outside of their sport. Sports build leadership and teach girls how to work together as a team. Both social athletes and Olympians demonstrate how important it is to believe in themselves and their team in order to achieve greatness, which every woman should do. By practicing and spending time honing their craft, they can truly be all that they dream of no matter what their gender, race, or background. However, their exists many barriers to women participating in regular sport and recreation. We have identified 3 major reasons, and provided potential solutions to get more women involved:
Barrier: Time Constraints and Availability (both work/family related)
Solution: Get active with your family when you can. Sporting activities as simple as backyard cricket, running around the park, swimming at the local pool or bushwalking are easy to do as a family and will help women with time constraints fit in some sporting activity in their free time. Furthermore, look for programs with daycare centres or that allow the participation of younger children, to further breakdown the idea that children become a barrier to getting involved.
Barrier: Limited Social Sporting Options and Inflexibility
Solution: Explore your local area for parks,walking trails and activities. By searching the local paper, you will also often find different sporting organisations offering ‘come and try’ days that give you a taste of a variety of sports to help you decide if you’d like to continue with one. You’ll be amazed at the amount of all-female activities out there.
Barrier: Peer Pressure and Self-Consciousness
Solution: Be a role model yourself. With self-affirmation comes a greater sense of respect and self-worth and you will feel better about yourself. Furthermore, sport will bring about greater fitness levels and help you make more friends, so while there may exist some immediate self-consciousness about what you are doing and how your skills are in relation to others, persistence will pay off and the self-consciousness will fade away.