An online resource has been launched to try and stop 16-year-old students, especially girls, from dropping out of sports.
Research from the Association of Colleges suggests that as many as eight in 10 16-year-olds drop out of sports as they commence their further education studies.
The Sport No Sweat site (pictured), part of the Doctor Wellgood teen health resource, is hoping to educate students about the importance of remaining active. It is also supporting a campaign by the Association of Colleges to appoint “College Sports Makers” in 6th form colleges to help to encourage sporting participation.
Sport No Sweat’s “encyclopaedia of sport” lists 10 important reasons to keep active and includes information about performance, injuries, essential kit, and how to build a personal fitness plan.
The website is targeting girls in particular because females who are inactive in their teens are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis in later life. This is because bones keep growing in active people until their late-20s before they start losing minerals and becoming more fragile – a process women are more prone to in later life.
The website warns that girls who are not active at the age of 16 already have a 12 per cent lower bone density than normal.
John Burrows is one of 156 College Sport Makers already working in the UK. He said: “Currently 80 per cent of students drop out of any sort of physical activity. We need to try to get them active not just from a point of long-term health, but because research shows that exam performance is closely linked to fitness and general wellbeing.”
Doctor Wellgood’s editor-in-chief Al Campbell said that their research shows that the issues young people worry about most are weight and obesity, feeling down, self-esteem, self-image and stress.
He added: “Exercise is one of the best ways to work on your body and combat stress – feeling healthy and happy with your body supports self-esteem as does getting involved in activity with other people. You don’t need to be in a team or play competitively, exercise is a win-win all round.”
Sport No Sweat is free to access at www.sportnosweat.com