The Issue

Participating in recreation and sport improves mental, physical, and social health; increases social connections, improves confidence, self-esteem and a healthy body image, improves sport and physical skills, provides an opportunity to develop a number of life skills and is fun! However,

  • 50% of girls are not participating in sport by the time they reach adolescence. (Source: The Rally Report 2022, A Call for Better, Safter Sport for Girls)
  • A similar number of boys and girls start out in sport, but more boys stay involved in sport through to late adolescence, and across the lifespan. In fact, 1 in 3 girls drop out of sport vs. 1 in 10 boys.
  • Factors that prevent girls from participating include low confidence, negative body image, poor perceptions of belonging and feeling unwelcome (Source: The Rally Report, Canadian Women and Sport, June 2020)
  • Currently 1 in 3 girls, aged 13-18 years, currently engaged in sport are unsure if they will continue to participate (Source: The Rally Report 2022, A Call for Better, Safter Sport for Girls)
  • Women tend to be less physically active than men. 59% of men (aged 18 years or older) report getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week compared to 50% of some (same age) (Source: Statistics Canada, CCHS, Table 13-10-0096-01 Health characteristics, annual estimates, 2018.)
  • Men (36%) are more likely to have participated in sport within the year compared to 19% of women. Sport participation among women decreased with increasing age, and the lowest rates of sport participation were found in older women, from 40% among 18-24 year-olds to 10% among women over 65 years. (Source: CFLRI, aggregated results from the 2019-2021 Physical Activity Monitor)
  • Girls, women and gender diverse people drop out of sport and recreation due to fear of judgement, fear of ability, appearance in front of others and reprisal from prioritizing themselves. Females in 120 countries have a fear of judgement in common. (Source: Literature and research review, Sport England)