Using PE to promote a positive body image

Lack of confidence and poor body image in girls as young as seven is driving them to give up sport, but what can be done to solve the problem and how can we use PE to promote a positive body image?

A lack of self-confidence is one of the biggest barriers to girls participating in sport, and one of the most problematic manifestations of this is poor body image. At a time when both obesity and eating disorders among young girls are at their highest, addressing this is of utmost importance.

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Perception, confidence, body image, and teaching methods can all act as barriers to girls participating in sport

The factors given previously – and others – combine to give girls the impression that sport is not for them. Unlike boys, for whom excelling at sport is a good thing, girls are put off physical activity because they don’t want to be seen as unfeminine.

This is compounded by the media, which often portrays successful female athletes as masculine. Another participant in the BioMed Research International study stated: “Sport is seen as a manly thing to do…they [the media] don’t see it as a girly thing.”

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Increasing Girls’ Involvement in Golf

When professional golf players are considered, names such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus come to mind, but what about female golfers?

The progress of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has exceeded all expectations, but does this transfer to participation in girls taking up the sport?

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Getting Girls Involved in Football

With over 1.4 million women and girls currently playing football in Britain, it is the country’s most popular female team sport for participation. Since 2013 when a strategy launched by the football league trust, the FA and the Premier League the number of females between 14-25 years old regularly taking part in football has risen by over 20,000.

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