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19 Nov 2018

Initiative launched to help dads and daughters get active together
BY Tom Walker

The programme will encourage fathers to play a greater role in supporting their daughters to develop physical confidence

The programme will encourage fathers to play a greater role in supporting their daughters to develop physical confidence

Women in Sport has teamed up with the Fatherhood Institute, Fulham Football Club and the English Football League Trust to help fathers and daughters from low income families in London get physically active.

The partnership has received £118,301 of National Lottery funding from Sport England for a project which will encourage fathers to play a greater role in supporting their daughters to develop physical confidence and competence.

Designed to involve girls aged between five and 11, the programme will replicate a concept which was first designed by the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Research by the university found that fathers are less involved with their daughters than mothers, tend to spend less time with daughters than sons and don’t acknowledge their role in fostering their daughters’ physical activity behaviours.

A concept to tackle the issue was then created by a team led by professor Philip Morgan, who will also be involved in the delivery of the UK version of the programme.

Morgan said: “By harnessing the unique relationship between fathers and daughters, our programme has been shown to significantly improve the physical activity levels of families in Australia.

"It is very exciting to be involved in the world first adaptation of the programme and to examine the impact on families in the UK.”

According to Sport England’s Active Lives Survey, only 54 per cent of adults on a low income and with children are active, compared to 71 per cent of those in higher-income groups.

Girls in lower socio-economic groups are even less likely to be active, with half of girls aged 5-15 in families with the lowest household income doing less than 30 minutes daily outside school (Health Survey for England, 2015).

Overall, only 26 per cent of girls aged 5-7 meet chief medical officer guidelines for physical activity outside school. By age 13-15, this drops to just 9 per cent.

Sport England has dedicated a £40m National Lottery funding pot to address this by helping families get active together, and the Women in Sport in partnership is one of 10 to receive awards in the latest round of investments.

Women in Sport is now recruiting a project manager to help deliver the programme. To find out more about the role, click here for the Leisure Opportunities jobsite.




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