Developing physical activity leader programmes for girls from underserved groups

Theme Diet and physical activity

Status: This project is ongoing

Inequalities in physical activity mean that not everyone in the UK is able to participate in sport in the same way. Young females from underserved backgrounds are a group that is most affected by this.

Sport England suggests that recruiting more diverse physical activity leaders could reduce these inequalities. This is because seeing someone of the same age, gender, background or ethnicity being physically active can help a person feel more comfortable and show them that sport is for them too.

Developing relatable physical activity leaders could be key to increasing physical activity among this group. Despite several young physical activity leadership programmes being delivered by different providers across the UK, none have been specifically designed to target underserved groups of females and young people who identify as non-binary or another minority gender.

Project aims

This project will produce a framework for developing female and non-binary young people aged 16-25 from underserved groups into physical activity leaders.

To do this we will:

  • Map existing programmes
  • Conduct focus groups with stakeholders involved in developing programmes to understand what works, why and how
  • Co-design the framework with:
    • a range of young females from underserved groups
    • practitioners
    • academic partners
  • Test the feasibility and acceptability of the framework

What we hope to achieve

We will use our framework to inform the development of future young physical activity leaders’ programmes to ensure they are relevant and acceptable for underrepresented groups of females.

This will help work towards a socially just and gender-balanced physical activity workforce, and support participation in physical activity by young people who identify as female or non-binary and are from underserved groups.

Our colleagues from the Born in Bradford study at the Bradford Institute for Health Research will be leading this project.

Contact Dr Jamie Crowther if you would like to hear more about this project.