How Parents Can Encourage Girls To Play Sport

Photograph your child being active

  • Enlarge the photo
  • Frame it
  • Be proud of it!

Actively support your daughter’s involvement in physical activity

  • Buy her good equipment – not her brother’s hand-me-downs
  • Come and watch her games
  • Consider volunteering
  • Drive her to and from practices
  • Make sure your daughter has time in her life to be active – don’t make your daughter sacrifice her involvement in sport so she can baby-sit or do housework

Take your daughter to the park and be active with her

  • Help her to learn the fundamental skills of running, throwing, catching, and kicking

Be an active role model yourself

  • Mom’s participation in sport increased participation rates of her child by 22%
  • Dad’s participation in sport increased participation rates of his child by 11%

Emphasize fun and fitness rather than competition and slimness

  • Encourage your daughter to try a variety of new activities, and help her acquire the skills and equipment she needs to participate.
  • Avoid comments about your daughter’s body size and shape.
  • Love and support her just the way she is.
  • Don’t undermine her confidence and take the joy out of playing by telling her “she throws like a girl”. Help her to learn the skills she needs to enjoy sport.

Introduce your daughter to active women
All too often women in sport are viewed as cheerleaders, water girls or chauffeurs. Your daughter needs to be exposed to women who are athletes, coaches, officials and leaders in sport.

  • Buy sports books about women athletes
  • Watch women’s sport events on TV with your daughter
  • Take your daughter to women’s sport competitions in your community
  • Read the sports pages with her and follow the performances of Canada’s great athletes such as Silken Laumann, Kate Pace, Angela Chalmers, Myriam Bedard, Ljiljana Ljubisic, and Alison Sydor.

Plan Active Vacations or Weekend Excursions

  • Try hiking, cross-country skiing, rafting