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The importance of engaging Scotland's girls in Active Play - Inspiring Scotland

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21.10.2020

The importance of engaging Scotland’s girls in Active Play

To celebrate Scottish woman and girls in sport week 2020 we decided to interview Anne- Marie, who is involved in the running of the Active Play programme at voluntary organisation FARE Scotland, on the importance of engaging girls in Active play.

FARE Scotland (Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse) is a voluntary organisation working within disadvantaged communities throughout Central Scotland. FARE have been running their Active Play programme for 3 years.

FARE are part of Thrive Outdoors -Active Play funded programme. Thrive Outdoors Active Play programme boosts physical activity in children and helps them develop fundamental movement skills such as coordination and balance, all through playing physically active games. Inspiring Scotland are passionate about communicating the many benefits of Active play for all Scotland’s children.

Can you tell us about the Active Play programme at Fare?

AM- Fare have been part of Active Play for three years now and the programme allows for children in the class of primary 3 to be provided with a 1-hour play session. The session is split into 2 halves. 1 half is more structured and led by the adults and the second half is free play. During this time the children are allowed to create their own play and explore the environment. The children are provided with a range of resources should they wish to utilize these. The children build relationships with other peers during this time and implement some of the skills learned in the first half of the session. The programme runs in primary schools for a total of 15 weeks.

Having worked on the Active play programme do you have tips or advice on how to motivate girls who are currently disengaged from physical activity and/or Active play?

AM-The structure of the programme allows for a lot of flexibility and with this the girls in the class tend to engage and be interested almost instantly. However, we do from time to time get girls who are shy in the class and we find out what they are interested in at home, what music they like and we use music and communication to try and engage the girls. Resources we use are Pom Poms, dance batons, gymnastics equipment.  We try to keep up with the times to engage the girls so recently tik toks have been created during our sessions with the girls and this allows girls to make decisions, work in teams and feel confident in their ability to perform. 

What are some of the benefits Active Play sessions bring for girls in particular?

AM-The sessions provide a fun, active and inclusive environment for the girls to be themselves without any judgment. The sessions by nature encourage the girls to be active for the full session. The fun element motivates the girls and reduces the dropout rate. The resources allow for girls to make up their own games and also gives them ideas on how to stay active. The staff are always one male, one female per session to allow for the girls to have a male and female role model. The staff are always active and willing to participate themselves to show the girls that they can have fun at any age. Adding all this together increases the girls confidence to be themselves and let themselves go.

To find out more about FARE’s Active play programme see here: https://fare-scotland.org/academics/active-play/

To find out more about how you can get involved in supporting Scottish woman and girls in sport week 2020 please see here: https://api.actify.org.uk/asset/b9717092-15bd-4766-b3d8-187cdbfb51d7

Follow the Thrive Outdoors team on twitter for updates: @Thrive_Outdoors

To read more about the Thrive Outdoors Active Play programme please see here: https://inspiringscotland.org.uk/what-we-do/our-funds/thrive-outdoors/active-play/

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