Suncorp has revealed the findings of the ‘2019 Australian Youth Confidence Report’, revealing more than half of parents are concerned about their daughter’s self-esteem.
This coincides with 46 per cent of Australian teen girls turning their back on sport by the age of 17, despite two- thirds acknowledging that sport can make them feel more confident.
The national survey of over 1000 Australian parents and teenagers conducted as part of the Suncorp Team Girls initiative, also revealed that confidence and the perception of themselves is one of the most commonly discussed topics in their home.
Suncorp’s Executive General Manager Brand & Marketing, Mim Haysom, said the findings reinforce the value participation in sport can provide in building confidence in all areas of life, and the need for greater support to help parents and peers tackle this issue.
“Our research tells us participation in team sport nurtures perseverance, resilience and confidence; essential skills teen girls need now and in the future. This, in turn, can have a real positive impact on their health and wellbeing, career prospects and financial security moving forwards,” Ms Haysom said.
“As part of Suncorp’s ongoing commitment to change the score and keep young people motivated, we have enlisted a range respected speakers, athletes and mental health experts to provide advice, inspiration and support as part of the Team Girls program,” continued Haysom.
The research draws a direct link for girls of all ages between being confident and achieving success in a range of life dimensions, including their work and social lives. The benefits of sports are widely recognised to have lifetime impacts, as sport is felt to build fundamental life skills like team building, leadership and resilience.
Suncorp Team Girls Ambassador Rebecca Sparrow – teen Agony Aunt, podcast host and author of ‘Game On! A Team Girls Guide to Getting Active’. offers her tips on what parents can do boost participation:
- Encourage girls to try sports their friends are playing as they will be more willing to get involved. If your daughter’s friends are playing netball or hockey or AFL — talk to your daughter about joining their team for a season. Or start playing a new sport with a friend.
- Become a fan. Get your daughter excited about the sport by following the national league and experiencing the excitement of a live game. Introduce your daughter to a terrific role model like netball’s Gabi Simpson and Gretel Tippett, AFL’s Tayla Harris and Moana Hope or cricket’s Ellyse Perry. Start following the players on social media.
- Chill out. Many kids cringe at their parents’ sideline behaviour. Keep the focus on fun rather than form and leave the feedback to the coaches. The goal is for kids to have fun and be active.
- Allow them to try different sports. Some kids take a while to find the sport which ignites them. Trying a few different sports is a great way to find the right fit.
- If your daughter suddenly wants to quit her team sport, listen to her reasons and explore whether joining a less competitive team would be of interest.
Rebecca Sparrow comments, “Sport actively builds that inner grit we all need to handle life.”
In response to the new findings and to drive awareness of the plight that parents and young girls face, Suncorp has launched a new Team Girls Rally Cry to encourage and motivate young girls to embrace life confidently, on and off the court. Championing the cause and inspiring Australian girls to stay in the game, is Australian electronic music songstress, Thandi Phoenix, a rising star of an equally male-dominated scene.
“I’m so proud to be involved in the ‘Team Girls’ movement, as I am a huge advocate of girls working together to empower one another. The Team Girls chant is designed to mimic pre-match camaraderie and motivational rituals, using the power of collective voice.
“I grew up playing netball and learnt the importance of perseverance and teamwork from a young age. Working with such a diverse group of epic teens has been inspiring and we’ve all learned something from one another. I really hope that other girls out there can identify with the girls in this group and know they’re not alone!” Phoenix said.
“We are Team Girls – hear us roar!”
The Team Girls chant was created in collaboration with teen girls across Australia, creating a rallying cry designed to build girls’ confidence and unite them to realise how collectively strong they are. To learn the Team Girls chant and to find out more about how team sport can benefit your child’s development visit the Suncorp Team Girls site.
Key Findings of the ‘2019 Suncorp Australian Youth and Confidence Report’:
− Only 55 per cent of Australian girls age 11-17 play sport in a typical week, compared to 69 per cent of boys of the same age.
− 15-17-year-old girls are significantly more likely to be playing less sport (46 per cent) in the last 12 months or to have completely stopped, compared to 15-17 boys (30 per cent).
− 11-17-year-old girls are significantly less active (-1 hr 18 mins) than boys of the same age in a typical week.
− 15% of girls don’t like playing sport because they don’t think they’re ‘any good’, a close second to ‘having too much schoolwork’.
− Two-thirds (67 per cent) of girls age 11-17 acknowledged that sport can make them feel confident or ‘good about themselves’.
− 54% of boys aged 11 -17 feel confident as a result of playing team sport compared to 37 per cent of girls in the same age group.
− The findings highlight the importance of peers and loved ones to drive their confidence; 9 in 10 girls aged 11.
– 17 admit to deriving confidence through support from friends and family.
− 8 in 10 girls believe that it is important for girls to support one another.
− Girl’s favourite sports include dance (24 per cent), swimming (18 per cent), netball (16 per cent), basketball, soccer and gym (all 10 per cent).
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