The more active your daughter is now the more active she will be as an adult. That means a healthier heart, stronger bones, less chance of cancer and diabetes. And more fitness, stamina and flexibility.
Did you know that when girls are active their anxiety and depression levels fall? It’s true. Physical activity is a mood enhaner. And playing sports have alot of social benefits too. Besides building good friendships, girls learn team work and how to strive towards goals. Sports provides experiences in leadership, independence and assertiveness. But the best reason for girls participation in sports is to have fun!
The Woman in Sports Foundation founded by the tennis great Billy Jean King reports that girls and women who play sport have and experience higher confidence and self-esteem. They experience higher state of psychological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports.
We spoke to a few girls coming from different backgrounds who have found their joy in games. All three report their favourite sports to be making them feel good about themselves. Those who engage in sports are doing better in their studies, they are found to be more attentive and disciplined in class.
Amala (15) is the eldest of four siblings. She is in the 9th grade and is a passionate player of badminton. ‘I first started playing sports at the Children’s Club. It was there that I developed a keen interest for badminton. Earlier I never had access to equipment or even knowledge on how to play the sport. I lacked the confidence even to speak to a single person. Thanks to the sport I now have the confidence to say – No Dream is too Big‘
Amala started playing barely an year ago and already she has won a silver medal at the district level. In the next year she is vying for a gold at the district and says will not stop there but go on to the national level.
Kalpana (14) dreams of playing netball for her school. ‘When I saw girls scoring magnificently playing netball and scoring points I became so fascinated and wanted to play. I even went home that day and talked about the game with my mother’
Soon enough Kalpana was on the team and playing as defense. She revels in stopping her opponents from scoring points while she glows at her own team getting their goals.
‘The feeling of self-satisfaction cannot be expressed in mere words’ she claims excitedly about the game. ‘During practices we are never too tired to go through our moves again and again, the shooter working on precision and the runners on passing the ball and those on defense like me flaring our arms wildly to block the efforts of the opponents’ explains Kalpana.
Sadeesha (13) is among the quieter few who have taken up a sport that is still rare in our country. Because of tradition and culture girls don’t expose their bodies. This is one reason why girls participation in sports drop drastically with their reaching age 14 years. However Sadeesha is engaged in Aerobatic Gymnastics and is loving it. ‘I like Athletics too but most of all I like Gymnastics because it makes me move quickly and be very flexible’ she said.
Her school team won the National Championships last year and the girls were overjoyed with the results.’ We all shouted and cheered as our name was called. We just couldn’t contain ourselves. I like participating in competitions it builds my confidence and bring the team closer’.
Don’t miss out on anything girls – go and get into the game – and have fun!