Teenage girls are at risk of not returning to team sport post-COVID

Teenage girls are at risk of not returning to team sport post-COVID

teenage girls

As community sport resumes in many parts of the country, a new survey has revealed more than a quarter of teenage girls are at risk of not returning to team sport.

The survey from Suncorp asked over 1000 Australian girls aged between 11 and 17 their attitudes towards team sport, with one quarter saying they have simply lost interest. 60 per cent of these girls also reported that ‘nothing can be done’ to change their mind.

After the months of social distancing restrictions and no community sport, two thirds of the girls surveyed said they were less active compared to the same time last year. And with extra time on their hands, many girls have increased their screen time, with 63 per cent reporting they are spending more time on social media.

And while some girls have lost motivation to participate in sport, 86 per cent of girls said they were aware of the benefits of playing team sport. Almost half of the girls said sport increases their confidence, and it makes 6 in 10 girls feel happier.

Photo credit: Heather Dinas

According to the survey, professional sportswomen play a big role in inspiring girls to participate in sport. Three in four girls agreed that sportswomen, like those in the Diamonds, have inspired them to participate in sport and for girls who play netball, 9 in 10 agreed that they were inspired specifically by the Diamonds.

Australian Diamonds player Gretel Bueta says the findings of this survey highlight just how important it is for girls to be encouraged to continue to play sport.

“What is so interesting about Suncorp’s latest research is that despite young women being at risk of leaving their chosen team sport, they clearly recognise the positive impact it can have on their lives,” she said.

“Speaking from experience, I know the wins are just as important as the losses to build that inner grit we need to handle life.”

Bueta says playing team sport can help nurture skills like perseverance, resilience and confidence.

“I encourage Australia to come together at this essential moment to ensure we don’t lose young women from team sport.”

Stay Smart! Get Savvy!

Get Women's Agenda in your inbox