A new programme designed to provide a supportive space for teenage girls has been launched by a collective of partners to help girls find and reclaim the joy of sport and exercise during puberty. Big Sister aims to provide girls with an extensive range of resources and support – created and shaped by other girls – to enable them to find out about the changes that happen to their bodies whilst offering ways to improve self-belief and wellbeing. Exercise can help to prevent numerous issues that affect the lives of girls and women, from anxiety and self-harm during the teenage years to osteoporosis that can plague women in later life.
Teenage girls are being encouraged to visit the Big Sister online digital hub – www.big-sister.co.uk – to access free content, support, and practical advice from peer mentors to help navigate the challenges of puberty. It also addresses the stigmas and gender stereotyping which can prevent girls from leading happy, healthy and active lives.
Recent research found 43% of teenage girls who once considered themselves sporty start to disengage from sport following primary school. To help to prevent girls from slipping into a lifetime of inactivity the Big Sister programme has formed partnerships with Places for People, its leisure provider Places Leisure and schools and community groups to help inspire girls to rediscover the joy of sport and activity through their local leisure centre.
Big Sister is funded by the DCMS Tampon Tax led by Women in Sport and a consortium of partners: Places for People’s charity Places Foundation and local leisure provider Places Leisure, and Hey Girls Community Interest Company.