Female secondary school students across the Waikato region are beginning to see physical activity in a different light. This is thanks to a new approach that’s changing the message about what it means to be active.
As part of its This is ME® initiative, aimed at getting girls and women moving, Sport Waikato is working with a handful of secondary schools to look at new, interesting and exciting ways girls can get active at school that are outside of traditional options like sports team.
“Traditional school sports and events don’t work for and aren’t appealing to many young women. With this in mind, we need to offer alternative ways for young women to get moving at school that are relevant to them, so they’re not put off physical activity for life,” says Sport Waikato’s Women and Girls Initiative Lead, Amy Marfell.
Currently, schools in Te Kuiti, Pio Pio, Waihi and Paeroa are involved in the programme, which is based on female students leading the co-design of activities to get girls more active. Te Kuiti High School is currently the most advanced with a group of 11 students recently delivering a Colour Festival for their female peers that took place in June.
Throughout the process, students have been hands-on in the planning. This sees them not only have a voice about the options for physical activity in their school, but also develop valuable leadership skills and gain credits towards NCEA.
Our rangatahi are trying to tell us something: whatever we are doing to encourage them to choose physical activity is not working for them.
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