'BARRIERS TO PARTICIPATION IN SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR FEMALES AGED 16-18 YEARS OLD'
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Much research has been carried out to attempt to understand what the barriers are that influence young females decision on whether to participate in sport and physical activity or not. The Active People Survey (2011) recognises that females aged 16 years and over participating in at least 30minutes of physical activity at least three times a week had decreased from 2.7 million in 2007 to 2.68 million between 2010-2011. This shows that the participation rates of females are remaining to decrease rather than increase. The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (no date) believe that the significant decrease in girls participation is at the age of 16years old when they leave secondary school. As the problem still remains further research needs to be undertaken. This research study attempts to develop a greater understanding of what the barriers are that stop young females aged between 16-18 years old from participating in sport and physical activity, and what they feel can be done in the future to prevent these continuing to be barriers for them. A qualitative framework was used to explore factors that affect participation amongst those who are currently inactive. A mixed method approach using questionnaires to identify those who are currently inactive followed by interviews to explore the reasons for this lack of participation. 122 students from a Sixth Form College were used as participants for this study. The results found a high percentage of females were active, 85.2% participated in physical activity and 48.4% participated in sport. There is still a number of females who were inactive, the key factors that contribute to a lack of participation include social factors, psychological factors, transitions in life and environmental factors. Friends, physical education experience and perceptions of self image and ability appear to be the main influences which act as barriers in this study. The results show that the participants believe there are many changes which can be made to try and decrease these barriers which prevent females from participating in sport and physical activity.
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