Around the world organisations are empowering females to participate in sport, aiming to remove the negative stereotyping and fears that women face when competing in physical activity, especially in high impact sports.
According to Jr. NBA in the U.S., girls aged 14 is twice more likely to drop out of the sport in comparison to boys of the same age. So, the Jr. NBA has commenced a new program that aims to teach and encourage participation from girls and women within basketball and organised sports. The initiative “Her Time to Play” is a program dedicated to girls aged 7-14 that incorporates lessons and stories of positive role models from NBA players; covering topics that young girls face, such as self-confidence and healthy lifestyles.
Companies Empower Women in Sports
Companies around the world are launching inspiring campaigns, empowering women to be their most active and best selves, free of pressure and gaining the freedom to embrace their confidence. The #likeAgirl campaign was aimed at girls ages 10-12 with the mission to keep girl’s confidence high during puberty and beyond, by removing the negative stigma attached to the phrase “like a girl”. Other companies such as Nike followed, with a similar message from their #betterforit campaign to encourage female athletes around the world to share their personal fitness goals and their ambition to strive for them. The “This girl can” campaign in England, similarly encourages women to sweat and jiggle as they exercise. Advertising that real women can play sport, utilising images that oppose the idealised and stylised images of women in the media. Instead, they use women who are active and aren’t afraid to sweat and jiggle as a means to boost confidence. With over 13 million views for the “This girl can” campaign and 63 million for the #likeAgirl campaign, the media is aiding sporting agencies to change the way girls view sport.
Australian Government Campaigns For Girls in Sports
The Australian Government also launched the “Girls Make Your Move” campaign, featuring real girls playing sport and being active. The campaign was focused on encouraging young girls to participate in sport and include physical activity as a natural part of any young woman’s life; all to be enjoyed not endured. Studies into this campaign revealed that girls who exercise have greater energy and improved fitness, regular physical activity can help manage stress, alleviate depression and anxiety, strengthen self-esteem, enhance mood and boost mental alertness. An additional initiative the Queensland Government launched in 2013 was the “Start Playing Stay Playing” campaign, committed to inspiring and encouraging more women and girls to take part in regular physical activity. Aimed at increasing participation of women in sport and active recreation through advertising initiatives such as sports programs, events, running state sporting competitions, facilitating recreational areas, promoting new walkways and new fitness activities. These two government campaigns are a movement about inspiring, energising and empowering young women to be more active regardless of ethnicity, size or ability.
Women in Basketball
Promoting strong female role models over social media encourages the female basketball community. The role sport can play is huge in the life of a young female, and basketball, in particular, can help girls face the challenges of youth and develop life skills off the court in areas such as nutrition and wellness. Within Australia, female WNBL players such as Rebecca Lewis, Jackie Lear, Jessica McDowell-White and Katie Deeble have become role models for young girls promoting active and healthy lifestyles. According to Aus Sport, the participation rate in organised sport are lower for girls in comparison to boys. The drop of women in basketball is reflected throughout the world, with club sports such as basketball seeing participation decline after the age of 14. Basketball Queensland seeks to change these statistics to empower all those who desire to play, stating its “everyone’s game”, as the call echoes across the globe for women to defy stereotypes, Basketball Queensland seeks to join the movement.
The #WomenWillWin campaign is all about empowering women in basketball. If there is a woman in your life who you think should feature in this campaign, please contact us. Our goal is to empower all women who desire to play – because it’s “everyone’s game”.