Sport, and particularly team sport can give women and girls community for life. Where else can you experience the camaraderie, joint endeavour and combined work ethic that team sport brings?
This October, we’re inspiring mums (as well as stepmums, aunties and grandmas) and their teenage daughters to spend #TimeTogether getting active.
% of teen girls
say that being too busy with school work is a barrier to exercise
Women in Sport (2022) Tackling Teenage Disengagement
% of women
aged 41-60 are not meeting physical activity and exercise guidelines
Sport England (2023) Active Lives Survey
15-year-old Matilda, her mum Abi and auntie Ro are great examples of female relatives banding together to experience the joy of sport. Every week, they play together on the same netball team that Abi and Ro have been playing on for the past 40 years.
After trying many different sports at school but finding that nothing really clicked, Matilda decided to start netball. It was “an instant community and a safe space” for her daughter says Abi.
Playing together has brought them closer and helped them to learn new things about each other, says Matilda: “I definitely see my mum as more competitive than I would normally and probably more like a friend than a mum because we’re on a team together, we’re playing and improving at the same time.”
Meet Matilda, Abi and Ro on their netball journey together…
But their netball journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Since the pandemic, Abi has struggled with her health and been diagnosed with a heart condition that makes it difficult to exercise.
“It’s really impacted on everything that I do,” says Abi. “Now I’m just at the point where I’m returning to work and hopefully returning to netball. We’ve just got to take it step by step.”
Abi has found the community a huge help during this time, with her sister Ro along with other mums and daughters offering support in the form of lifts to and from matches. “It’s meant an enormous amount having that community there.” she says.
I definitely see my mum as more competitive than I would normally and probably more like a friend than a mum.
Matilda, Abi's daughter
Our research shows that community matters deeply to women and girls in sport. 48% of teenage girls tell us they would take part in sport if their friends did. But at the same time, changes during puberty can mean they feel vulnerable and exposed, with 73% telling us they don’t like other people watching them play sport, making it that much more important to make sure we’re getting the community aspect of sport right.
On and off court, team sport is the community that keeps on giving: “I think there’s something quite amazing about team sport when it works well and you’ve got a group of people all reacting to each other. It brings to naturally closer to someone.” says Abi.
Community starts small. It could just be you and your daughter taking to the local park to practice throwing and catching. Slowly but surely, getting involved with sports like netball can open up a world of opportunities and a community for life.
Find out more about #TimeTogether to get started.
Video sponsored by Vitality.