Sport England launches free video platform to drive PE participation among teen girls

Studio You is the latest addition to Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, informed my insights from female teens and PE teachers across the UK

Sport England has launched a brand-new, free video platform to increase engagement with PE lessons among the nation’s teen girls.

With research by Sport England from January this year revealing that 57% of girls aged 13-16 are not achieving the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and 64% of young women quitting sports altogether by the age of 16-17, Sport England’s on-demand video platform, Studio You, has been designed to encourage teen girls to get active through fun PE experiences.

In research conducted in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, Sport England also found that teen years are the peak time for girls to drop out of sport and develop deep-rooted negative attitudes towards physical activity in general. According to the study, 50% of teenage girls feel confident in PE compared to 72% of boys.

On top of this, a number of Sport England focus groups highlighted that girls who had disengaged from PE at school associated lessons with words such as ‘competitive’, ‘stressy’ and ‘repetitive’, with further studies showing that 80% of girls feel they don’t ‘belong’ in sport.

Created with input from young women and PE teachers alike, it’s hoped that the initiative will give educators a fresh bank of resources to inspire girls to take part before they entirely disengage with PE and physical activity. The video catalogue will be freely available to all schools in England.

In other news: New NCEE initiative lights up physical computing in schools

Forming part of Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, Studio You seeks to strip the pressure of competition and performance away from PE lessons. Instead, the platform aims to introduce girls to new disciplines and activities such as combat, barre, fitness and yoga, aligned with the ethos of ‘This Girl Can’ which is to focus on enjoyment, community and achieving a sense of personal fulfilment.

The platform has been supported by £1.5m of National Lottery Funding, featuring over 100 videos and giving teachers the power to search for lesson content by class duration or discipline. All content follows the national curriculum, and teachers can personalise the lesson planning experience by saving their favourite classes into their own digital library.

Kate Dale, campaign lead for Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ initiative, commented: “Engaging teenage girls with sport and activity is notoriously challenging. But we cannot allow millions of girls to disengage at such a young age when the physical, mental and social rewards of an active lifestyle are so important. And for some girls, PE at school is the only chance they have to get active – so it’s important to get the experience right for them.

“Studio You’s message is clear: getting active should be an enjoyable part of everyday life for all teenage girls and young women – not just those who excel at sport” – Kate Dale, Sport England

“We want Studio You to help teachers increase the confidence of the girls who might otherwise disconnect by enabling them to inject fun, choice and ownership into the PE experience,” added Dale. “Studio You’s message is clear: getting active should be an enjoyable part of everyday life for all teenage girls and young women – not just those who excel at sport.”

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