SHE can do anything. SHE makes a difference. The Fearless Girl represents the daughters, sisters, nieces, friends, mothers and other female figures in the community. SHE represents potential, progress and hope.
International Women’s Day brings into focus the importance of strong and fearless role models for young women and girls. Today’s girls are talented, ambitious and accomplished. They’re wise beyond their years. But they’re burdened as well, pressured to grow up too fast, before they’ve had a chance to explore who they are and who they wish to be. With so many negative messages being sent to our young women, is it any wonder that so many of them are dropping out of sport and physical activity? So why try to convince females to continue to be involved in sport and fitness anyway?
Being physically active as a teenager can help protect against a wide range of health risks in adolescence and into adulthood. But being active also has many immediate benefits for girls, in particular their mental health. Perhaps, most importantly, physical activity leads to higher self-esteem and that is important for psychological well-being, positive body image as well as increased self-efficacy and leadership skills. Thus, helping our girls stay physically active can help them stay physically, psychologically and emotionally healthy – a ‘Fitter Future’!
“Engaging women of all ages in sport is an end in itself. The United Nations has said that, combined with the emotional, psychological and medical benefits that are associated with participation in sport, participation also enables girls and women to increase their self-confidence and self-esteem, enjoy freedom of expression and acquire valuable skills in negotiation, management and decision making” (Broderick, 2010). Quite simply, participating in sport and recreation is one of the best things women and girls can do to improve the quality of their lives. The most important reason for participating in sport and fitness is that it is fundamentally ‘fun’. Doing something that is consistently ‘fun’ clearly makes life a more enjoyable experience. At Fitter Futures, we see not only a value in providing access to quality functional fitness to all groups in society, but we also provide specific Teen Girl sessions. The successful coaching of girls is a very fine balance between challenge and confidence as “girls are the most emotionally complex and agile species on earth” (Deak, 2002). “Most young girls need some encouragement to take risks, the right kind of risks, and to raise their estimation of their own abilities” (Dweck, 2006). Corroborating these ideas, Barbara Stone, the President of the Alliance of Girls Schools in 2004 stated that: “Girls don’t have just thoughts – they have thoughts linked to emotions”. With this in mind, our Teen Girl workouts are led by strong female role models especially in those danger years of adolescence. We want them to enjoy feeling fit, confident and competent so that they consider it to be an important, enjoyable part of life.
At Fitter Futures, we hope to encourage HER to get up, get active, reach her potential and beyond and most importantly, see that a fitter future isn’t just for the short term, it’s a lifestyle choice with long term benefits.
Fearless girls become fearless women, ready to lead and have fun.