By the age of 14, twice as many girls have dropped out of sport as boys. By the age of 20, half of girls have dropped out of sport. As more and more research shows the correlation between participation in sport and self-esteem, future achievement, physical, mental, and social health, it is becoming increasingly clear that it is crucial these numbers must change. Her Sport and Riley, the Irish period care brand, are proud to announce that we are partnering to provide ten workshops to schools around the country, free of charge, with the goal of empowering the students to begin or remain in sport.
The positive effects of sport, especially for girls, can hardly be overstated. Aside from the well-known physical and mental health benefits, a clear correlation with academic achievement has been shown. Sport also helps build the critical social and leadership skills necessary for high achievement in many careers: an EY study found that 94% of women in executive managerial positions have a background in sport.
Thanks to Riley’s support, Her Sport will lead ten workshops in schools around the country with the specific goal of breaking down the barriers for girls in sport. The workshops aim to reduce stigma surrounding menstrual cycles by providing students with information about the logistics of managing your period, how the menstrual cycle affects their bodies and athletic performance, as well as encouraging girls to share their own experiences.
Other topics include body image, how to balance education and sport, managing sport at different life stages, as well as the landscape of women’s sport in Ireland and inspirational female athletes.
To date, Her Sport workshops have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from students and educators, and have measurably changed students’ attitudes towards sport. 19% of the students don’t play sport but 77% of these said they would be interested in trying sport after the workshop. 88% of students would watch or attend a women’s sporting event—a 43% increase from before the workshop. 97% of participants felt more empowered after the workshop, and 100% would recommend other students do the workshop.
We started our delivery of workshops to schools in partnership with @We_Are_Riley Thanks to their support, we will lead 10 workshops in schools around the country with the goal of breaking down the barriers for girls in sport.
Register your school: https://t.co/OsyrjgslYI pic.twitter.com/UzCBdZRKpK
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) April 21, 2023
Many students reflected positively on the “relaxed space” and “open, encouraging conversation” in which groups discussed “rarely talked-of topics”; one agreed that she would recommend the workshop “because females in general sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about their menstrual cycle and this workshop makes this topic more normal,” and many more spoke of the valuable new information they had learned and the increase to their confidence. Another common theme in student feedback was girls realising they’re not alone: one praised the workshop for “reducing feelings of solitude,” and another said “it made me feel better and [was] a reminder that loads of girls go through it!”
Supporting women and building positivity around periods is a core value of Riley, who have partnered with charities fighting period poverty. It’s also a key component of Her Sport’s mission to achieve gender equality in sport.
At a time when 87% of Irish women have low self-esteem (the lowest figure globally), it is absolutely essential to promote girls’ confidence through sport. Her Sport and Riley are proud to be partnering on this initiative as a step toward true equality.
Aine Kilkenny, Riley Co-Founder said:
‘We are delighted to partner with Her Sport on this initiative. Education is the first step in breaking down barriers around the menstrual cycle. We’re looking forward to building positivity on periods at a school level and continuing the mission to achieve gender equality in all areas, including sport.’
Niamh Tallon, founder of Her Sport said:
“It’s no coincidence that so many girls are dropping out of sport by 14 years old. At Her Sport, our goal is to start as many conversations as we can around menstrual cycle, body image and other barriers for girls in sport, so that we can reduce this dropout rate. It’s fantastic to work with Riley on this “All Game, No Shame” workshop project. Both Her Sport and Riley are passionate about making a difference for girls and women and we’re looking forward to achieving that across Ireland.”
If you would like to have a workshop in your school, register here: https://forms.gle/KfakZiTXfgKiSFLu8