Wellness brand Vitality has partnered with Women in Sport for the charity’s annual #TimeTogether campaign during October. The campaign aims to inspire mums, including mum figures, and their teenage daughters to try new activities together and experience the joy and bonding experience that sport can give, as well as the many mental and physical benefits.
Now in its fourth year, #TimeTogether is one solution to increase activity levels and enjoyment of sport among women and girls after Women in Sport research found 1.3 million girls in the UK, who enjoyed sport in primary school, drop out during their teenage years. Deep-rooted negative attitudes which include a fear of judgement, combined with the challenges of navigating puberty, are affecting their enjoyment of sport. Six out of 10 teenage girls are also not meeting physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes of activity per day.
However, mothers and mother figures can also be part of the solution, with 48% of teenage girls saying their mum, aunts and female role models encourage them to be active. Yet women in midlife are also time poor, often having to prioritise the demands of their careers and family life above their own health needs. 71% of women experiencing the menopause want to be more active.
To showcase how #TimeTogether can make a meaningful difference, Women in Sport and Vitality are sharing heartwarming real-life stories where sport has had a huge impact on the lives of the women and girls featured.
“Netball has kept us close as we’re together a lot of the time. It’s an instant community and a safe space. I’ve been diagnosed with a post-viral heart condition which has impacted on everything I do. I’m just returning to work and hopefully to playing netball.” – Abi, mum.
“When watching my mum play, I realised I definitely wanted to be in a team sport and thought it would be great if we could play together. I now see my mum as more of like a friend than a mum.” – Tilda, daughter.
The campaign is also being supported by more than 20 sports organisations including England Netball, The RFU, England Golf, British Cycling, The British Mountaineering Council and Parkour UK, to help break down barriers to participation by offering accessible ways to try out new activities in supportive environments.
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, chief executive of Women in Sport, said: “Although this summer has been so inspiring at an elite level, we know that teenage girls face real barriers to getting active and into sport. The cumulative impact of stereotyping from a young age and pressures from social media not least commentary on appearance means many girls feel they don’t belong in sport. At the same time mothers are missing out as their time is dominated by work demands or caring for relatives as they also cope with menopausal symptoms. So, mothers and daughters getting active together is a solution we know can work.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with influential partners like Vitality to bring these uplifting stories of mums and daughters to life, showcasing the real challenges in the lives of women and girls and how sport can have a defining, transformative and joyful impact on their lives.”
Neville Koopowitz, CEO, of Vitality, said “We firmly believe in the power of sport to inspire people to live healthy lives, and it’s fantastic to see this repeated time and again within the incredible and profound stories being shared as part of this campaign.
“Sport can do so much more for people than improve their physical fitness – it has the unique power to bring people together, to strengthen mental health and give a sense of connection and community. We look forward to seeing even more inspiring stories of women coming together in the unique way healthy living can facilitate.”
The #TimeTogether campaign will be running throughout October. For more information visit our #TimeTogether page.