Changing the Game for Girls – Getting Girls Active

“I used to get held back and I used to be quite shy so I didn’t want to do much. Now it has made me think ‘Yes, I can do that’ and I will”.  Secondary school student 

Executive Summary

Changing the Game for Girls: In Action set out to better understand the low levels of physical activity among young girls in the UK, and to uncover new ideas to help more girls get, and stay, active.

Report Contents:

  • Why changing the game for girls is so important.
  • What previous learnings were fed into this new pilot?
  • What ‘Changing the Game for Girls: In Action’ involved.


  • PE is perceived as an unimportant subject for girls to be good at, despite its impact in developing valuable life skills such as team work and self-confidence.
  • Self-confidence issues are a huge barrier to participation for girls (e.g. getting changed in front of peers).
  • Some girls enjoy competition but dislike some of the behaviours that are associated with it, such as aggressiveness.


  • Review and consult:
    • Get the school Senior Leadership Team on board and consider how you can improve your whole school approach to PE.
    • Consult with girls themselves to understand their preferences and opinions more fully.
  • Make active attractive:
    • Tailor provisions to meet the girls’ wants and needs for activities, timings and format.
    • Create extra-curricular opportunities and links to the wider community.
  • Role models and leadership:
    • Use female role models to inspire.
    • Create leadership opportunities for the girls themselves as coaches, peer mentors and young leaders.
  • Monitor and evaluate:
    • Evaluate which activities have worked and why.
    • Monitor participation in sport as well as absences.



  1. Women in Sport. (2012). Changing the Game for Girls: Policy Report.
  2. Women in Sport. (2016). Changing the Game for Girls: In Action.
  3. Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. (2012). Changing the Game for Girls: Teachers Toolkit.
  4. Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. (2012). Changing the Game for Girls: NGB Factsheet.