The research, undertaken by the pioneering Active Girls committee, found that the most common barriers to participation were:

  • Not wanting to do it on your own (68%)
  • Feeling self-conscious (58%)
  • Confidence (58%)

The findings come from 412 responses to the Active Girls Committee Survey held in April, which aimed to find out the barriers facing girls’ participation in sport. It explored the barriers facing pupils who don’t participate and those who currently do, finding the results relatively similar.

The Active Girls Committee consists of 15 pupils from nine secondary schools in Aberdeen. The results were published as part of an engagement evening held at Aberdeen’s The Marcliffe Hotel on Wednesday 23rd May.

The engagement evening including talks from the pupils and a panel which included sports industry experts and a PE teacher.

It is part of efforts by the committee to raise awareness and seek backing for their plans to increase participation in sport and physical activity throughout Aberdeen City.

Sport Aberdeen’s Director for Sport and Active Lifestyles, Jo Bell, said:

“These results show the mountain we must climb to increase the participation of girls in sport and physical activity. For too long, participation levels plummet as girls make the transition from primary to secondary school.

“This confirms some of the barriers and gives us a solid ground to work from. The Active Girls Committee, led by girls for girls, are an incredible group of determined and confident young women.

“The engagement evening brought together decision makers from across the city and I think we all left feeling inspired to do more, no matter how big or small. The extent of this challenge means that we all, including the girls themselves, have an important role to play.

“The Active Girls Committee has the influence and the motivation to positively change circumstances for their peers. Sport Aberdeen is committed to creating opportunities for young people to take part in sport and physical activity, and this is another important step in the right direction.”