Women in Sport in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, Fulham Football club and the EFL Trust is celebrating after being awarded £118,301 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to help low income families in London get active with their children over the next year. The programme will replicate a programme which was designed by the University of Newcastle, Australia. It will specifically target dads and daughters in the UK.
Sport England’s Active Lives Survey reveals that only 54% of adults on a low income and with children are active, compared to 71% of those in higher-income groups. Girls in lower socio-economic groups are even less likely to be active, with half of girls aged 5-15 in families with the lowest household income doing less than 30 minutes daily outside school (Health Survey for England, 2015). Overall only 26% of girls aged 5 -7 meet Chief Medical Officer guidelines for physical activity outside school. By age 13-15, this drops to just 9%.
Parents often see their role as helpers rather than role models in encouraging their children to be active. Research by the University of Newcastle (Australia) found that fathers are less involved with their daughters than mothers, tend to spend less time with daughters than sons and don’t acknowledge their role in fostering their daughters’ physical activity behaviours.
Sport England has dedicated a £40-million National Lottery funding pot to address this by helping families get active together, and Women in Sport in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, Fulham Football Club and the EFL Trust is one of 10 to receive awards in the latest round of investments.
The fund is a key part of Sport England’s focus on helping young people have an enjoyable experience of sport and physical activity, so they develop a positive attitude towards being active at an early age and continue being active in later life.
Sport England are funding organisations that help families get active together, because parents and close family members can have a big impact on children’s experiences. Parents who are active themselves and enjoy it can encourage positive feelings about exercise and its value in their children. Yet many parents lack the skills or confidence to take part in sport with their children as they fear they cannot keep up.
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