The benefits of playing sports are numerous, from learning teamwork and making friends to improved physical fitness and self confidence. At a time in their life when kids face many social pressures and stresses, being a part of a sports team or club through their tween and teen years can help them overcome these challenges.
Many girls are very actively involved in sports when they are young, but when they hit the tween or teen years, many of them drop out of playing their favourite sports. For many it’s due to body image or confidence issues, and for others it’s because of family finances or the fact there are fewer opportunities for older girls.
I know when I was growing up, team sport options for girls were rather limited when compared to the ones open to boys. While my brother could choose from sports such as hockey, soccer, baseball, football, rugby, lacrosse, basketball and many others, I remember getting to choose between figure skating, softball, ringette and ballet. While we’ve come a long way from those days, we still have a way to go to even the playing field.
Uneven Playing Field for Girls in High School
In May 2016, Playtex Sport commissioned a study of Canadian women between the ages of 13-24 about their high school sports experience. The stats from this study are rather discouraging (although unfortunately not surprising.)
- Nearly three quarters (72%) of girls say they are unable to participate to their full potential in high school sports
- Nearly half of girls (48%) say that boys have more choices when it comes to high school sports and (33%) of girls say their school doesn’t offer their sport
- 38% of girls say that boys’ sports teams get more support from school administration and 35% say the boys’ programs get more funding
- Over one third (35%) of girls say they get hand-me-down equipment or uniforms from boys’ programs
Many girls said their ability to participate in high school sports is limited because they can’t afford athletic participation fees, uniforms or transportation.
To help level the playing field, and encourage girls to play on, Playtex Sport is accepting applications for Playtex Play On Canada grants for girls’ high school sports programs across Canada. Up to $50,000 in grants will be awarded to Canadian high schools.
Two Canadian high school teams have already benefitted from the Playtex Play On Canada grant program:
- Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, Nova Scotia started a run club for girls. As it was not a traditional sports program, financial support for the club was limited. Playtex Sport covered the cost of transportation for the club to the Lunenburg World Heritage Site 5K Road Race and Muffin Festival and supplies new running gear for the girls.
- The senior varsity volleyball team at Cochrane High School in Alberta felt the girls’ locker facilities at their school could be improved as a sign of support for girls’ athletics. Playtex Sport surprised the team with a locker room revamp and new team uniforms.
Do you know a girls’ high school team or program that could use some financial support? Be sure to tell them about the grant program, and encourage them to apply (or submit an application yourself) to help give girls the sports opportunities they deserve.
Applications for grants of up to $5000 per schools are being accepted from now until October 31, 2016 at www.playtexplayon.ca
Play On All Month Long
To encourage your daughter to play on, remind her there’s no need to skip her favourite sports and activities just because she has her period. In fact, staying active and enjoying the sports she loves may be just what she needs to feel better.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- exercise releases endorphins which in addition to improving mood can help counteract the cramp-producing chemicals that are part of the menstrual cycle
- getting the right nutrients (such as magnesium, probiotics and anti-inflammatory foods) can help relieve cravings and PMS symptoms
- ensure your daughter has a ready supply of feminine protection products to meet her needs. Playtex Sport has a range of products to provide comfort and sport level protection, whatever her activity level. (You may even want to put together a Period Essentials Kit for her!)
Playtex Sport Play On Giveaway
To help keep girls playing on, Tweenhood is giving away one (1) Playtex Sport #PlayOnCA prize package valued at $60. Prize consists of a drawstring gym bag, t-shirt, water bottle, Under Armour headbands and Playtex Sport products. Enter below for your chance to win.
Giveaway starts September 8, 2016 and ends October 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm EST. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+ only, excluding Quebec. No purchase necessary. A winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. The winner will be required to answer a skill-testing question and have 48 hours to respond, otherwise another winner will be chosen. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the prize sponsor.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Playtex Sport. As always, all opinions remain my own.
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)