Schoolgirls see confidence soar through primary school sports scheme

Around 50 girls have been trying new sports each week as well as learning how to prepare healthy meals.

Around 50 girls at an Arbroath primary school have been involved in a project encouraging them to take part in sport.

Ladyloan Without Limits conducted research which suggested girls didn’t want to or couldn’t join in with sports, with health and wellbeing also a key factor in the programme.

The girls are learning about the importance of feeling confident, something that they will take with them throughout their school journey and life.

Research by Angus Active Schools has shown that confidence has been a major barrier for girls taking part in sport.

Pippa Van Wees, Angus Active Schools assistant, said: “The huge one is confidence, they didn’t like playing with the boys in their class, overruling the games.

“Girls didn’t get to shine when playing sports. Financial difficulties as well within families, getting them to the clubs and actually paying for their monthly memberships – that’s why we have been bringing the clubs into school for free so they can have the opportunities.”

Karate instructor Billy Wales said pupils are 'a credit' to their school and families

Local sports clubs have been hosting introductory lessons for the girls every Monday for almost a year.

This week they took karate in their stride.

Billy Wales from Brothock Shotokan Karate Club added: “It’s nice to see them working together and respecting
each other.

“When we are teaching coordination, we do karate but with games, it’s really good.

“The kids are a credit to the school and their parents and guardians. They’re working so well, and the kids who have come into the karate club are progressing so well, it’s a good induction really.”

The girls have also been getting lessons in how to plan and prepare healthy meals.

The programme has been running for almost a year and from next month the primary seven girls will move to a group with other feeder schools to prepare for high school.

The pupils were surveyed and asked to rate how they felt about playing sports between one and ten – with all showing signs of improvement by the end of the programme.

Acting principal teacher Dawn Dargie added: “It was interesting to see the difference, going from a five to a nine or ten out of ten.

“We have also noticed a difference in starting new sports clubs at school to encourage sports participation. We are finding that girls are now participating a lot more in school sports clubs and a lot of the girls are actually joining clubs out with school as well.”

The girls have been learning how to prepare healthy meals

Kiera, a participating student, said: “Before the sports and everything, I’d say my confidence was probably a four out of ten but now I am up to a 9.5. We feel more confident to try new things and we have way more opportunity to try new sports.”

Maisie added: “When I first joined, I was about a 2.5 out of ten. But now that I have gotten used to everyone I’m at a ten and I am excited to come every week.”

Rose and Rylee who have both joined new sports clubs.

Rose said: “I was just really scared at the start, I was struggling with confidence and everything, but this has made it all better, with the health and wellbeing things, it really helped.”

Rylee added: “I was only sticking to one sport and without this I wouldn’t have had the chance to even try anything else, so it has really helped me gain my confidence.”

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