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Inspirational British female athletes encourage large numbers of girls to play sports, study finds

By on July 4, 2022 0

INSPIRING British female athletes have encouraged more than half of girls in Britain to take up sport.

Some 60% of girls aged 11 to 17 said they thought an inspirational role model was the best way to get into sport, a survey has found.

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Lionesses Karen Carney (L) and Laura Woods (R) pose with a young Lioness fan at a community event in Battersea ParkCredit: Dan Griffey
Female athletes like British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith have been a huge inspiration for girls to get into the sport

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Female athletes like British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith have been a huge inspiration for girls to get into the sportCredit: AFP

British female athletes such as Emily Raducanu or the Lionesses, England’s women’s national football team, have given girls across the country the boost they need to get started.

Of the girls surveyed who had played football, a third said it was inspirational moments like watching the Lionesses play that encouraged them to start.

The Lionesses are currently playing in the UEFA Women’s Tournament and, five years after the last edition of the tournament, the team is enjoying resounding success.

With tickets sold for their group matches, the team’s popularity skyrocketed.

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Almost half of the girls surveyed said they plan to watch the team in this highly anticipated tournament.

Tennis is also growing in popularity with young girls in Britain, with a third having played the sport.

Of those who have played tennis, a third said they were inspired by Emily Raducanu’s incredible successes on the court.

However, the study also reveals some of the barriers women face in sport.

Almost half believe there are barriers preventing women from pursuing a career in sport, with 40% saying there is a lack of information about where girls can play.

Karen Carney, who amassed 144 caps for the Lionesses, said “women’s sport has seen massive growth in recent years”.

“This summer’s tournament provides the perfect platform to inspire the next generation.”

Peter Robb of Continental Tires, an official sponsor of the Lionesses who funded the study, said: “We are proud to be part of the Lionesses’ journey, both on the field and as an inspiration to the next generation.

To learn more about Continental Tires’ support of the Lionesses, visit www.continentalgripthenation.com.

British athletes like Kelly Holmes have succeeded, but many girls think there are not enough sports on offer in schools

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British athletes like Kelly Holmes have succeeded, but many girls think there are not enough sports on offer in schoolsCredit: Getty Hulton