Why we do what we do...

Self-Esteem

  • Girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports (womenssportsfoundation.org)
  • Some researchers suggest that some aspects of sports participation may actually buffer girls against disordered eating, such as increased self-esteem, positive body image or (in some sports) an emphasis on mass and power rather than on a feminine aesthetic of thinness or fragility (Fulkerson et al, 1999; Hausenblas and Downs, 2001; Mosley, 1997; Rhea, 1999; Taub and Blinde, 1992)
  • One study followed a nationwide sample of 11,683 high school students between their sophomore (1980) and senior years (1982). Compared to female non-athletes, female athletes reported greater access to and more positive attitudes toward science and math courses (Hanson and Kraus, 1998)

Health

  • High school girls who play sports are less likely to be involved in an unintended pregnancy (womenssportsfoundation.org)
  • As little as four hours of exercise a week may reduce a teenage girl's risk of breast cancer by up to 60%; breast cancer is a disease that afflicts one out of every eight American women (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 1994)
  • Weight management, a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help to prevent about one-third of cancer cases (Willett, 2003)

Gender

  • Sport is where boys have traditionally learned about teamwork, goal-setting, the pursuit of excellence in performance and other achievement-oriented behaviors--critical skills necessary for the success in the workplace. In an economic environment where the quality of our children's lives will be dependent on two-income families, our daughters cannot be less prepared for the highly competitive workplace than our sons. It is no accident that 80% of the female executives at Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as former "tomboys" -having played sports. (womenssportsfoundation.org)

Transient