The Daughters and Dads project is run in partnership with the University of Newcastle (Australia), Fatherhood Institute, EFL Trust and six Club Community Organisations (CCOs), with National Lottery funding from Sport England.
The project replicates a programme which was designed by the University of Newcastle, Australia to help low income families get active with their children, specifically targeting the relationships between dads and daughters. The programme is delivered across three regions of England, with the following partners; North East: Foundation of Light (Sunderland), and Middlesbrough FC Foundation; West Midlands: Stoke City FC Community Trust and The Albion Foundation (West Bromwich); and London: Fulham FC Foundation and Leyton Orient Trust.
Sport England’s Active Lives Survey reveals that only 54% of adults on a low income and with children are active, compared to 71% of those in higher-income groups. Girls in lower socio-economic groups are even less likely to be active, with half of girls aged 5-15 in families with the lowest household income doing less than 30 minutes daily outside school (Health Survey for England, 2015). Overall only 26% of girls aged 5 -7 meet Chief Medical Officer guidelines for physical activity outside school. By age 13-15, this drops to just 9%.
Parents often see their role as helpers rather than role models in encouraging their children to be active. Research by the University of Newcastle (Australia) found that fathers are less involved with their daughters than mothers, tend to spend less time with daughters than sons and don’t acknowledge their role in fostering their daughters’ physical activity behaviours.
The Daughters and Dad’s project encourages fathers/father-figures to play a greater role in supporting their daughters to develop physical confidence and competence and involve girls aged 5-11 in shaping how their families get active together.
Weekly 90-minute group sessions combine practical and educational activities, with the programme teaching girls sports skills through fun games and physical activities and educating fathers about positive lifestyle role-modelling and parenting strategies.
The first year of the project has been hugely successful, and this year the programme will be delivered at a further five community club organisations.
View a Case Study from the first Pilot year and the impact of the programme on one family.