Gender equality means giving everyone the same rules and opportunities, regardless of gender - it’s all about being fair. This is especially important in primary schools as children are at the prime age of learning, we want all children to treat everyone the same and not discriminate or judge others.
Gender equality in sports is also very important as, statistically, girls are less involved in sports than boys. Members of each gender get victimised daily for wanting to participate in a specific sport, such as girls wanting to play football or boys wanting to take on ballet.
Girls vs Boys
Most research points to a large gap between the amount of boys participating in sports compared to girls. Many more boys take on new sports whereas girls tend to drop out and are not eager to take on physical activity. There are many factors that lead to this large gap such as body image, judgement and stigma attached to girls participating in sports.
This is just one of many reasons as to why we need to encourage gender equality in sports, we want girls to be as enthusiastic about sport as boys are, remove stigma and ensure no one feels scrutinised or as though as they cannot carry out a specific sport because they are a boy or girl.
Benefits of Gender Equality in Sports
Enforcing gender equality from an early age will allow children to grow up with the right mindset of accepting others and not judging those based on specific hobbies and interests.
As well as this, gender equality in sports has a wide range of benefits such as:
- It helps children to understand that both genders are capable of doing well in sports.
- Encourages children to treat each other equally.
- Helps to remove stigma associated with gender stereotypes around specific sports.
- Girls and boys are more likely to succeed further in education.
- Lowers the risk of bullying - increases teamwork and bonding amongst children.
Participating in sports, whatever they may be, will benefit both boys and girls highly as it improves both mental and physical health. Physical activity will lower the risk of obesity, diseases and increases confidence and self esteem, meaning children will view themselves highly and have less chance of experiencing health implications.
How can we Boost Gender Equality in Sports?
Role models such as sports coaches are the perfect way to start changing children’s attitudes towards equality in sports. Sports coaches provide a number of benefits such as:
- They engage and encourage children to participate in activities they wouldn’t normally get involved in.
- They are great support for those who feel they cannot do certain things.
- They create their own sports programs for all children to participate in, ranging in different games and skills for all genders to learn and work together.
Top tips for engaging both genders in the same sport
- Encourage all children to participate in the same sport, playing different games on different days.
- Don’t divide children into groups based on gender.
- Don’t carry out games where children have to compete in gender groups such as ‘boys vs girls’ - team both genders together and let them learn new skills from each other.
- If possible, employ sports coaches ranging in genders to help children see how males and females interact and take on sports, regardless of the stigma associated with it.
Activities to carry out
There are many activities you could carry out with both genders to encourage equality such as:
- Dance - children can get into groups and create their own routine.
- Football - the class can play 5 aside or work on their kick ups, for example, in groups.
- Gymnastics - carry out a whole class session where children can follow the leader and learn new moves.
- Basketball - children can have a whole class game, with teams mixed in gender to see who can come out on top.
Active Superstars Coaches are a Mix of Genders
The coaches at Active Superstars are a mix of genders, this is very beneficial, especially in primary schools as children see the coaches participating in all activities, regardless of their gender. They can see how happy they are when everyone is treated equally and that they are not afraid to take on new games.
At Steps2sport we don’t divide children into gender specific groups, we ensure everyone gets chance to play and participate in our fun, energising activities. We push and encourage children to treat everyone equally and work together to be the team on top.