New data from Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People Survey has been released, on children’s attitudes towards sport and physical activity.
More than 130,000 children and young people were surveyed in the academic year 2017/18 reveals enjoyment is the biggest driver of activity levels.
Despite 68 per cent of children understanding that sport and activity is good for them, understanding had the least impact on activity levels.
Alison Howard, Chief Executive Officer at Rounders England, commenting on the findings said: “We believe that a great experience of sport and physical activity as a young person leads to lifelong participation, which are crucial factors in long-term physical and mental health.
“The survey findings back our own research which found that the main motivator for young people and sport was to have fun and enjoyment in the company of their friends, followed by satisfaction with increasing levels of self-confidence and skills.
“At Rounders England, we designed our new Competition Strategy around these motivators.
“With 90% of the population saying ‘I loved rounders at school’, and rounders ranking 5th in the most played team sports at school, we believe rounders acts as the perfect activity to offer to young people and to adults who have fond memories of rounders, and few barriers to playing again”
Sport England found that among the children taking part in the survey, boys are more likely to love playing sport, while girls are more likely to love being active.
The survey revealed say girls are less likely to say they enjoy or feel confident about doing sport and physical activity.
58% of boys saying they enjoy taking part in sport, compared to 43% of girls and 47% of boys feel confident, compared to 31% of girls.
Football coach for Stoke City Community Trust, Josh Derbyshire said: “If you go in and do a PE session for any sport with children under 7, I’ve always found that the level of enthusiasm is the same with both genders.
“The lack of enthusiasm then comes as they get older and children become more conscious of what people think.
“So, if a child (boy or girl) doesn’t perform well in something in comparison to those around them they will rarely enjoy it.”
Josh then said: “The rest then comes down to culture really and will change over time.
“With obvious exceptions, but children can only do what their parents allow them to do to a certain extent.
“A lot of fathers for example may want their child to play football as it’s what they love.
“Whereas mothers may want their children to do dance or concentrate on academic work even.
“Children may pursue things that the parent they most relate too encourages, which would’ve been encouraged onto them by their parents who may be from a time where culturally men did more sport than women and women doing certain sports, for example football.”
For more information about this survey visit Sport England.