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Girls in Sport event engages young females with sport

News | 28 March 2024

Over 255 female school pupils from 14 schools in five different catchment areas attended Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ‘Girls in Sport’ event – part of the University’s successful Open Campus initiative – which is providing schoolchildren and members of the community across Cardiff with access to sport, physical activity and health support.

During the Girls in Sport event, which took place at Cardiff Met’s Cyncoed Campus, girls from years 10 and 11 took part in a sporting activity, discovered more about University, the courses available, and what career pathways are available from inspirational and empowering female alumnae, staff and students.

Emma Manning, Open Campus Coordinator at Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “Studies show that only 43 per cent of girls aged 11-16 in Cardiff exercise up to three days a week, with data suggesting 13.9 million women across the UK aren’t active enough*. Research highlights the enormous positive impact of providing compassionate and welcoming environments, showcasing women of all ages and backgrounds participating. Here at Cardiff Met we want to change those statistics by providing women and girls with the opportunity to enjoy sport in a safe and welcoming environment.”

The Girls in Sport event also held sessions focused on non-traditional sports, that were designed and delivered by Cardiff Met’s Sport Coaching and Sport, PE and Health students. The objective was to encourage pupils to try something they haven’t experienced before.

Emma continued: “Pupils had the opportunity to interact with females of the same age, from the same area, with the same interests, who they wouldn’t have previously had the opportunity to meet, with the hope of fostering a sense of community and belonging. The event is designed to inspire young women by highlighting the power of sport and to help remove stigma, showing that sport is for anyone at any level, at any age, and that you do not have to play sport to work in sport.”

The event challenged staff and students to carefully consider the needs of the female pupils. In doing so, the event provided valuable, authentic learning experiences.

Stacey Grew, teacher of Health and Wellbeing at Cardiff West Community High School, one of the schools to attend the Girls in Sport event, said: “It is important for our school to be involved as we need our students to experience what is outside of the area in which they immediately live. It is also important that our students have female role models to inspire them and see that anything is possible regardless of background and, or gender.

“We aim to promote ambition and resilience within our students and opportunities such as this help. These experiences are all about trying to raise aspirations for our students and make them more ambitious, we want them to know that these things are possible.”

If your organisation would like to work with Cardiff Met through Open Campus, contact opencampus@cardiffmet.ac.uk.

* Studies show that girls aged 11-16, only 43% exercised 0-3 days a week in 2021 (Physical Activity Behaviour Data – Move More Cardiff).

Sport England’s Active Lives data suggests that more than 13.9 million women are not active enough. (Sports Marketing Survey – Women’s Sporting Journeys: How to keep women engaged in sport throughout their lives).