uSports are proud to be an inclusive sporting provider which is open to boys and girls of all abilities. But, where are all the girls? We see a good mix of boys and girls during the school day through our in school coaching programme. The boys and girls interact well and challenge each other through a range of different sports.
Yet, when we look to our out of school clubs the gender balance becomes skewed. When we look to our Football Development Centres and Football Holiday Courses, there are noticeably more boys participating. We do have many girls who take part, and have a great time doing so, but we want to try and encourage more girls to pursue an interest in sport not only when they are at school. Being International Women's Day, it seems a great opportunity to ponder this issue and to try and encourage more young women to engage in sport.
A great article in The Guardian last year emphasised the importance of women's role in sport to their wider role in society. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/mar/13/time-for-female-professional-footballers-treated-equals-phil-neville
As the article rightly points out, Women's Professional Football has developed in recent years, and it can be seen over my coaching career that more and more girls are getting involved in football and sport more generally. However, there are still great strides to still take. The Guardian (2018) shows that the average wage for a female super league player was around £18,000. The sport is gaining great interest and support, yet the pay alone highlights the differing attitudes.
How do we raise the value of women's sport?
At uSports we want to give every child the opportunity to form a meaningful bond with sport. We work with children from as young as 18 months in our Toddler Classes all the way up to college. There is no wrong age to get involved in sport which is why we pride ourselves on delivering sessions to such a wide range of individuals. There are far too many people who leave education with negative perceptions of sport, we want to give every young person even just that one inspiring moment where sport really feels special to them as myself and all of my coaches have felt in their journeys.
We therefore want to invite you to get your daughter, niece, granddaughter or whoever involved in one of our out of school activities! One active measure which we have made to encourage girls to get more involved in sport is by introducing our new Earley Sports Camp which is offering a wider range of sports to try and capture the interest of more young women!
Here are a few of our activities which are just waiting to embrace International Women's Day: