Breaking down the barriers to girls' enjoyment of PE

PE and sport
Only 59% of girls say they enjoy secondary school PE lessons and activities compared to 83% of boys – with periods and confidence levels being the two biggest barriers.
Image: Adobe Stock

The annual Girls Active research undertaken by the Youth Sport Trust has raised concerns at what it terms the growing “enjoyment gap” in school sport.

The study involved responses from 18,500 girls aged from 7 to 18 and finds that across all ages 64% of girls say they enjoy PE lessons compared to 86% of boys.

However, it is at secondary level where the gap becomes more pronounced. The survey finds:

This is despite two-thirds of the girls telling researchers that they would like to be more active in school.

Furthermore, the Youth Sport Trust says that the level of girls' enjoyment of PE has dropped steadily over the past six years, whereas the enjoyment level of boys has remained “broadly consistent”. Back in 2016, 74% of girls said they enjoyed PE.

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