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A recent study for the Women's Sports and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) says more than half of girls are put off by PE classes and are opting out of sports activities all together.
The research was conducted by Loughborough University, which found big differences in the attitudes of girls and boys towards doing sport.
Proludic, which works with local authorities to create outdoor play and sports equipment for everyone regardless of sex or ability, is looking to change these attitudes by influencing key stakeholders involved in government policy and the provision of facilities.
Proludic has undertaken extensive studies into female participation in sport and outdoor recreational activities thanks to research conducted with young people from Ossett Academy and 6th Form College, Wakefield. See youtube video below.
Proludic’s conclusion is that central government, local authorities and local community groups need to create more spaces where girls are encouraged to exercise and participate in sport. We believe this trend can be reversed by designing outdoor spaces and facilities with girls in mind. In order for this to be achieved these organisations need access to public and private sector funding.
One example solution is the Sports Legacy Zone, a social fitness space designed to encourage participation in sport and fitness activities for girls and boys. It uses mobile phone technology to provide girls with virtual coaching videos from Olympians Steve Backley and Roger Black who give tips on how best to use the equipment. The first example of one of these ground breaking spaces is at Meriden Park in Watford.
Another solution is to provide more Multi Use Sports Areas (MUSAs) which encourage participation in sports by increasing casual participation by integrating games areas with casual spaces to gather recreationally.