As girls grow up, they become less physically active than boys. And this is a worldwide problem. In the UK, just 8% of 14-year-old girls are getting enough physical activity. In the United States, girls drop out of sports six times more than boys.
Keeping girls active is crucial to keeping them healthy. Not only does regular exercise prevent obesity and heart disease, but girls who were highly physically active during young adulthood and adolescence are 20% less likely to get breast cancer as adults.
Even when you know just how important sports are for girls’ health, it can be difficult to find a sport that will keep them interested. At Kikoff, we believe football is a great choice for all kids, particularly girls. Here’s why:
Too often, girls are only complimented on how they look, instead of their abilities. With football, girls are celebrated for their achievements. Every time they score a goal, learn a new trick, or upskill, they’ll grow in confidence. In fact, a study by UEFA found that teenage girls who play football reported higher levels of self-confidence than those that don’t. And 80% of those surveyed said that they were more confident due to playing with a football club/team compared to other sports.
Interestingly, 54% agreed that they were less concerned about what others thought about them as a result of playing football. In a world of Snapchat and Instagram, this is great news- and a big reason why you may want to consider enrolling your daughters in football.
Fitness and Coordination
All that weaving and sidestepping makes football a great way for girls to improve their coordination. And since girls do a lot of running when they’re playing football they’ll also benefit from increased fitness and cardiovascular health.
We’re all more sedentary than we should be, and football is a great way to get girls (and boys) off the couch and running around- decreasing their risk of obesity and associated health problems.
Those tween years can be particularly rough on girls as they hit puberty before boys. On the football field, girls are only judged for their skills and abilities- and not on how they look. In a time where even the youngest girls now know how to take a selfie, focusing on how they play (and not how they look when they play) is a massive self-esteem boost.
One of the biggest reasons for girls to be involved in football? It gives them a chance to play with other girls who also love the game. They’ll build relationships with girls from all over their city, instead of being solely reliant on friends from their schools.
It’s hugely helpful for girls to have a wide range of friends, and they’ll also form relationships with coaches and other parents. There are so many role models within the football world as well, making football a great choice if you’re hoping to open up your daughter’s social boundaries and give them a chance to make new friends.
Playing sport sets girls up for success. Some of the most successful women in the world credit their time spent playing sport with helping them build character and become mentally tough.
Not to mention, girls who play sport do better in school. Not only are they more likely to achieve better grades, but they’re also more likely to graduate compared to girls who don’t play sports.
These are just a few reasons why football is great for girls. If you’re looking for a fun team sport for your daughters, bring them along to Kikoff for a free trial, or get in touch to learn more.