Daughters in sport: the benefits

Commitment, respect, fun, relaxation, how to handle pressure, set and achieve goals, accept responsibility and failure, and be gracious winners: all great benefits of playing in a team sport.

Here’s how team sports like netball, touch and contact rugby can enhance the mental, psychological and spiritual health of girls and young women.

Adapted and condensed from Brooke De Lynch’s article Sports Benefit Girls in Many Ways on MomsTeam.com

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Better physical health
The health benefits of playing regular sports for girls are numerous:
• Better self-reported health – they say “I feel good/well!”
• Fewer chronic illnesses long-term
• Body positivity
• Reduced risk of obesity and associated illnesses
• Helps with mood swings
• Healthier menstruation
• Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis

Better grades in school
Girls who play sports:
• Are better at organising, setting priorities, and budgeting time.
• Report an increased desire to attend tertiary education.
• Dedicate more time, energy, and commitment to schoolwork.
• Perform better in maths and science.

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Better social life/more community involvement
Girls who play sports tend to be socially well-adjusted:
• Part of an achievement-based social network.
• Sports provide girls with a core of buddies different from the small, intense friendship groups to which young girls are naturally drawn. This type of network may give female athletes an edge in future.
• More community involvement as adults.

Better emotional/psychological health
Playing sports helps girls emotionally and psychologically:
• Develop fearlessness
• Female to female support – those team hugs and hand piles have benefits beyond the court/pitch.
• Coaches, parents and volunteers can become inspiring and supportive role models.
• Higher self-esteem and better self-image (although this is not always the case).
• Challenge gender stereotypes.
• Lower rates of depression.

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Career boost
• Develop leadership skills, self-reliance and self-discipline.
• Learn to cope with and function under stress.
• Function as part of a team.
• Sport may give a competitive edge to executive positions
• Communication sills – girls in sport tend to discuss things rationally and constructively.

Read the full article here.

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