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05 July 2016

Keep Playing #LikeAGirl

At school I was always the first on the field. Whether it was in preparation for a game of Netball, hockey or rugby I had a real passion for sports and I even represented my school, town and county on several occasions in the hurdles and the high jump. I guess being 6ft with incredibly long legs and coming from a competitive family helped quite a lot but I was generally good at what I did and I really enjoyed it. When I reached my late teenage years I stopped attending clubs and playing matches and now that I'm only fit enough to run a bath, definitely not a race, I truly regret giving up something that I loved so much.

Minxy is fast approaching her teen years and I am trying to encourage her to stay active and not make the same mistakes I made especially as she is already quite self confident in her changing body. After all, ongoing participation in sport significantly contributes to confidence in girls, at any level, and provides valuable skills to help them stay confident to do any and every thing later in life.

The Always #LikeAGirl campaign launched in June 2014 was inspired by the insight that the start of puberty and the first period mark the lowest moment in confidence for girls and how harmful words can add to that drop in confidence. It demonstrated the profound effect the phrase “like a girl” can have on girls’ self-confidence and this is something they wanted to change.

After seeing the original #LikeAGirl video, most people (76 percent of women ages 16 to 24 and 59 percent of men according to an Always study) said it changed their perception of the phrase so after further research the Unstoppable #LikeAGirl campaign took place in 2015 to empower girls and now, Always have teamed up with double Olympic Gold Medallist Laura Trott to help encourage and inspire girls to stay in sport and Keep Playing #LikeAGirl, just ahead of the Rio games.

The results from the most recent Always survey are shocking with over 50% of girls quitting sports by the time they reach puberty and 80% feeling that they do not belong in sport. 

"We all go through it, but puberty can be such challenging time for girls, you suddenly feel really self-conscious about lots of things and start thinking you can’t or shouldn’t do certain activities. I remember kids making fun of me for cycling and wearing a helmet and that would really knock my confidence. But playing sport taught me that by believing in myself, and never quitting, you can achieve great things,” said Laura.

“That’s why I am proud to be supporting the Always #LikeAGirl mission to help stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty. Sport really is one of the strongest confidence building activities and as a female athlete competing in the Olympic Games I want to encourage and inspire girls everywhere to keep playing #LikeAGirl and never quit.”

A recent 2015 study of consumers in the UK showed that women aged 18 to 24 are twice as likely to be confident if they play sport regularly, compared to those who do not play at all! It's definitely worth encouraging our daughters to get and stay involved.

Join In
Always is inviting everybody to join in to rewrite the rules and keep girls in sport. Pledge that you’ll Keep Playing #LikeAGirl and encourage others to do the same. Upload your pictures and videos to social media using the #LikeAGirl to show your support and inspire young girls everywhere to Keep Playing.

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  1. Great post, my kids really need to take part in more sports

  2. Wow, what a shocking percentage that quit at puberty, as well as a little one I have teenage 13 year old girls and they do become very self conscious but I try to encourage my girls in all things .x

  3. I was quite sporty as a youngster but quit at puberty not taking up any sport until my early 20s. I think my mind was on other things! x

  4. I love this idea, sport is so good for girls for so many reasons, but my daughter is having none of it. She is interested in the inspirational women athletes we have though as good role models, so that's better than nothing I suppose! :)

  5. What a shame so many girls give up in their early teens. I kept playing tennis until I was 18 and went to university and then couldn't find anyone to play with! I really want my daughter to continue with her running as she gets older.

  6. Sadly I've always been a bit rubbish at sports but I do go to an exercise club each week and I figure this is good for the girls to see. They often come running with me too. Mich x

  7. I LOVED sports at school and during my twenties too. I am really happy that both of my boys are really sporty too and tonight they played Cricket and there were 4 girls on the team, which makes me happy

  8. My two are into lots of sports right now - let's hope it lasts past the nice weather x

  9. I was never any good at sport at school but enjoyed taking part - I would love to get back into it


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