Keeping Girls in Sport

Keeping Girls in Sport: A New Resource for Coaches, Mentors and Leaders

Research has repeatedly shown that during adolescence, girls drop out of sport at a significantly higher rate than boys. Although there are several factors that contribute to this statistic, a commonly cited reason is a lack of understanding of the motivators and barriers that make up the female sport experience. As a coach, it’s imperative you have the tools required to help young girls overcome the unique barriers they face, and motivate them to stay active throughout adolescence and hopefully, for life.

From physical fitness and healthy body weight, to mental and emotional well-being, participation in sport and recreation is an important part of a child’s development. Sport helps foster self-esteem and confidence, and being part of a team provides kids with opportunities to develop valuable life skills such as teamwork and leadership. By exiting sport during adolescence, girls miss out on more than just the chance to play and compete: they leave behind intangible lessons that can empower them to grow up to become strong leaders in their communities. As coaches, you are in the position to help girls stay in sport, and ultimately, find success both on and off the field of play.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, the Coaching Association of Canada and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport have developed an online coaching resource called Keeping Girls in Sport. The 90-minute course was developed using the research of Dr. Vicki Harber, professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, and teaches how to create a safe and respectful coaching environment for female athletes, and ultimately, keep them engaged and enrolled in sport long-term. 




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