STAYING ACTIVE: Grafton High School was involved in research to boost girls’ participation in sport. Photo: Debrah Novak
STAYING ACTIVE: Grafton High School was involved in research to boost girls’ participation in sport. Photo: Debrah Novak

Keeping teen girls in sport - The research

BETWEEN 2009 and 2011, Grafton High School was involved in an extensive research project aimed at girls' participation in sport.

The Girls in Sport Intervention and Research Project specifically targeted Year 8 and 9 age groups as studies have shown a decline in participation in physical activity around that age.

Results from the study showed girls liked being actively involved in making decisions about their physical activity and that schools could make a difference.

"Girls tend to be very active and participate in sport until 14," Grafton High's PE head teacher Michael Hillery said. "The research showed those who drop off at 15 or 16 often never took it up again.

"We were one of the schools that was given funding for intervention and trying things to increase physical activity. Other controls continued without change.

"Things that increased activity included girls-only classes, sports and playground areas, and it was found they often picked the sports they played based on social groupings."

Mr Hillery pointed out Grafton High School had the most physically active girls of the 24 schools throughout NSW used in the study.

The Australian Government recommends girls aged 12-18 undertake a minimum 60 minutes of physical activity per day. The study showed only 1.5% were achieving this.



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