Women deserve safe exercise spaces.
Posted: Fri, 02 Jun 2023 15:00
Working with teenage girls in Sheffield, Rotherham and Kirklees, Women in Sport found that only 34% of girls enjoyed being active in parks. This was a high contrast when compared to the 63% of boys who reported enjoying being active in parks. The main barriers were predominantly physical where girls felt that they were not fit enough to participate in activities in these spaces. In addition, these girls also feel they are unable to claim this space due to social barriers. In fact 59% of girls reported not feeling welcome in parks due to the space being dominated by and catered to boys. This male presence leaves girls with few female role models to look up to or to find a friendly face in these green spaces.
From these findings Women in Sport have proposed that local parks should be planned in collaboration with girls and women so that their needs are reflected in the park's design. Some examples of how this might look include, ensuring there is a variety of equipment and activities on offer, creating a more playful and adventurous space for girls to engage in activity, and providing more opportunities for organised sport / team sport for girls in parks, alongside many more.
Thanks to this vital research from Women in Sport there has been an increased knowledge of the barriers girls face when trying to exercise in parks and how this can be reduced. To read more about this fantastic work and find out how you can get involved in this movement follow the link below