Canadian Women & Sport released a new study on Tuesday that revealed that one in four Canadian girls are not committed to returning to sport once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The study COVID Alert: Pandemic Impact on Girls in Sport, done in partnership with E-Alliance and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and with funding from Sport Canada, examined the impact of the pandemic on sport participation for Canadian girls aged 6-18 who participated in sport at least weekly prior to COVID-19.
“As sport starts to return, there is an opportunity to change the minds of girls who are not committed to return. Caregivers, teachers, coaches, and community leaders can each play a part to remove the barriers keeping these young athletes away from sport,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO, Canadian Women & Sport. “We must pay attention to what girls want and design programs with their needs at the centre.
"It’s not too late to turn this tide. The time for action is now.”
More than 5,000 Canadian families were surveyed for the study. The commitment to return to sport is dramatically lower among girls who participated infrequently compared to those who participated frequently (i.e., at least weekly) before the COVID-19 shutdown.
“This concerning new data shows that thousands of girls are at risk of missing out on the physical, mental and social benefits of sport as we come out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Ann Pegoraro, Co-Director, E-Alliance. “Girls were already at a disadvantage in sport.
"This further demonstrates we require proactive and immediate action to create a compelling case for girls to return to sport.”