This trend is heightened with girls, particularly those in the older year groups. One in six (17%) girls never do any vigorous activity such as hockey or tennis outside school, and 13% never do any in school hours. For 16 year olds, this rises to four-in-ten (39%) not doing any intense exercise in school and nearly a third (31%) outside of school hours.
By bringing together, and collaborating with experts from the public, third and education sectors, Virgin Active will deliver a series of initiatives to give 500,000 young people access to activeness over the next five years, focusing on both in and out of school activity.
The first year of Active Inspiration will seek to tackle two specific problems:
Stopping young people falling off an activity cliff as they get older – whilst 14% of 8 year olds regularly go a week without undertaking vigorous physical activity outside of school, this rises to over as third (35%) of all sixteen year olds. This is reflected in the attitudes of young people; 22% of eight year olds claim they don’t enjoy doing sport, a figure which more than doubles to 46% of 16 year olds.
Addressing the fact that girls, in particular, become increasingly inactive as they approach and enter their teens – Whilst only 4% of 11 years old girls do not ever take any strenuous exercise in school, this rises to four-in-ten (39%) 16 year olds. What’s more, whilst 12% of 11 year old girls do not take any vigorous exercise outside of school, this rises to nearly a third of (31%) of 16 year olds. And whilst 24% of boys claim that they don’t enjoy doing sport in their free time, this figure rises to 38% of girls.