Encouraging girls to be active
Waihi College’s Colour Festival was launched to celebrate young women and get them moving.
The College has joined Sport Waikato’s initiative, This is ME, part of a secondary schools programme to help young women to be more active at school.
Last week, on Wednesday October 24, a group of girls took part in fun physical activities with tug-o-war, flipper hurdles, target throwing and wheelbarrow races and ended with the students throwing paint powder at each other.
Sport Waikato says the initiative aims to grow girls’ and women’s participation in physical activity of all kinds.
“It aims to connect girls and women with opportunities to get moving that are relevant to them, with positive messages about getting and staying active, and to one another through fun and inclusive movement experiences.”
Research from Active NZ (2013-14) and Young People’s Survey (2011) suggests that secondary school-aged girls drop out of sport quicker than any other defined group.
It shows that 48 per cent of 15 to 18-year-old girls play sports, but are likely to drop out quicker as they progress through secondary school.
The gap between men and women doing sports is narrow but adult women generally participate less often, with 89 per cent taking part in sports over 12 months compared to 81 for men.
To close the gap, Sport Waikato says the This is ME secondary schools programme is a direct response to these trends.
“It sees us working with the female students to identify ways they would like to get moving that are perhaps not able to be offered or made available within their school setting — most often these are not sport related and instead focus on activity and movement more broadly, rather than competition,” Sport Waikato’s participation growth advisor Amy Marfell says.
Since the launch of This is ME in Waihi with a community festival event held in February, Sports Waikato has been working closely with Waihi College staff and students to engage their female students.
The Waihi College Colour Festival has been designed by the leadership group of young women in the school.
Amy says students will be able to gain NCEA credits for senior students and a KiwiSport Leadership Qualification through its partnership with the Waikato Institute of Leisure and Sport Studies.
‘ It aims to connect girls and women with opportunities to get moving that are to relevant them . . .
Waihi College Leadership (girls’) group.