Working to get women back on track with sport

Sportswoman Shutterstock_FlindersWP
Many women are exhausted by the demands of modern sports culture. A Flinders SHAPE Centre symposium next week aims to help them. Photo: Shutterstock.

Under more pressure than ever to train harder, perform better and to look amazing while they do it, all in the full glare of social media.

That’s the daunting, sometimes emotionally crippling, and often career threatening reality facing many women in sport, according to an upcoming symposium by Flinders University’s Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Research Centre next Tuesday (8 December).

The SHAPE Research Centre wants to help women and girls better confront the challenges by applying the latest research on girls and women in sport, and examining why many of them disengage from it.

“Women are under more pressure than ever in sport and some of the issues they are facing are creating serious barriers to current success and future participation, which is bad for Australian sport,” says SHAPE Research Centre Director Professor Murray.

“Flinders’ SHAPE Research Centre is determined to help women achieve their best, but also to help them enjoy sport – and that’s the main purpose of this nationally significant event.

“We will look at everything from female sporting engagement and disengagement to online fitness culture and innovative research methods in an effort to improve girls’ and women’s experiences of sport and physical activity.

“Sport should be enjoyed by everyone, but that’s not the reality for many females, who are under a ridiculous amount of pressure, often without much support.

“That’s something we want to help change.”

Some of the most influential leaders in women’s sport will be symposium guests including football coach Narelle Smith, Olympic medallist Gillian Rolton and Thunderbirds coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson

Speakers include SHAPE Centre researchers Professor Murray Drummond, Dr Ivanka Pritchard and Dr Kate Ridley, Monash University’s Professor Dawn Penney (Monash University) and Professor Susan Paxton from Latrobe University.

They’ll explore topics including

  • exercise and social media
  • girls’ experiences in traditionally masculine sports
  • girls’ physical activity transition from primary school to secondary school compared to year 8/9
  • how to respond to changing engagement levels of female students in secondary school physical education classes.

For more information, or to register to attend Flinders’ SHAPE Research Centre’s Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity Symposium, click here.

For more information on Flinders University’s Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Research Centre, click here.

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