Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Girls and physical education
It was good to hear Baroness Grey-Thompson on Sunday Supplement (about 37 minutes in) this week confirm my impression that there could be improvements in the way women's sport is regarded in this country. She accepted that TV coverage was better than it ever has been, but there is still a long way to go. The emphasis was on the sports in which men were particularly strong, but she agreed with Vaughan Roderick that netball programming in prime time was popular in Australia and New Zealand.
She went on to say: "it's not just about the media coverage, it's about how young girls think about playing and engaging in sport [...] we know loads of girls drop out. We used to think it was [at age?] 13. Actually, they start being switched off sport and physical activity at 7 or 8. [...] Most women don't have a great experience of sport in school [...] We find when they become mums, they want to protect their daughters from that miserable experience. [...] So I think there's a massive opportunity to do a programme with mums to say 'look, this is not necessarily about competitive sport', (which to be honest a lot of girls don't like), 'this is about fitness, this is about health, this is about not costing the NHS money forty years from now'"