Research shows that playing organized sports offers young girls a better shot at a healthy, successful future.
When girls sit on the sidelines, they miss out on more than working up a sweat. All kids who play sports are less likely to develop chronic health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes. But they may also have an inside track on educational and job prospects — and those impacts are particularly profound for young girls.
A 2015 study by the Women’s Sports Foundation found that female athletes are more likely to excel in high school science and math than nonathletes. By playing, they also hone their collaboration, communication, and leadership skills.
All these characteristics can lead to enhanced education and career opportunities. In a 2014 survey by EY’s Women Athletes Business Network and espnW, 74 percent of the participating 400 adult women agreed that playing youth sports can later help accelerate a woman’s career; indeed, 61 percent said it contributed to their own career success.
So if you want the young girls in your life to have a better chance at calling the shots down the road — and to be healthier and more confident at all ages — encourage them to include a sport or two in their game plan.