Getting your daughter involved in sports at a young age provides many benefits that she will carry with her both now and into adulthood.
Some of these benefits include:
- More confidence
- Great fitness and cardiovascular health
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Better communication and social skills
- Improved grades at school and often better behaviour
- More discipline and respect
- Greater mental health and stronger self-image
- More friends from many different backgrounds
- Reduced risk of obesity and the many mental and physical health problems that excessive weight can cause
- Improved coordination and balance
- Better leadership skills
Of course, the list goes on and on…
But what’s even more exciting is that equal opportunity for both girls and boys in all sports is now becoming more and more common with the huge success of the inaugural year of the AFLW (Australian Football League Women’s), and continued success for many of our national women’s teams in previously male dominated sports such as cricket, soccer and basketball.
Even prize money for professional female athletes is quickly catching up to that of their male counterparts as well as sponsorship deals and tv coverage, which makes the future of female sport very exciting, especially if you’re a young girl looking to become the next Erin Phillips or Ellyse Perry.
Below we look at some of the most popular sports for girls and offer ideas for getting your child involved in sports whether they are just starting out or want to take their sporting endeavours to the next level.
Netball has long been one of the most popular sports for young girls in Australia. There was a time when in the winter the boys would play football and the girls would play netball, that’s just how it was. These days there are many more sports to choose from and girls are venturing into previously male dominated sports. But netball still has a very high participation level with over 37% of girls aged 6-13 playing netball.
This high level of participation and a strong grassroots organisation has put the Australian women’s team (The Diamonds) at the top of the world rankings for many years taking out numerous Commonwealth Games and World Cup Gold Medals.
Australia has had a long a successful relationship with the game of tennis. With one of the 4 annual grand slams being held in Melbourne since 1905 we have been blessed with many great players, especially female players. Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley (the first Aboriginal to win a Grand Slam) are two of Australia’s most successful female tennis players sharing 31 Grand Slam titles between them.
These days Australia has well organised tennis competitions in every local suburb and town with great support for young players who show talent in their early years.
Swimming remains the most popular sport in Australia for your girls (and boys for that matter). With our extensive coastline and warm weather Australian’s love nothing more than a swim on a hot summer’s days. Water safety is the main reason many parents get their children involved in swimming at an early age and many continue into their primary and high school years.
This national love of swimming is also reflected on the international stage with Australia winning many Olympic and World Cup gold medals every time the world’s best come together to compete.
Basketball, a very popular sport amongst young girls, is fast paced and requires great agility, ball handling skills and hand eye coordination. Over the last 15 years opportunities for female Australian basketballers have expanded due to the international success of our national team (The Opals) and the recruitment of some of our best talent to the highly lucrative WNBA in the United States. Locally we have a strong national competition and great junior organisations that give girl every opportunity to reach the full potential as basketball players.
Due to the great success of our national women’s team, The Hockeyroos, and the fast paced, high excitement energy of the game, hockey continues to be a popular sport amongst young girls.
Junior girls hockey is played in all states and territories across Australia, providing girls of all ages the opportunity to learn the sport, develop their skills, technical and tactical understanding, and play competitively.
Soccer is now the most popular team sports for young girls in Australia. This growth in the grassroots game has helped drive our women’s national team to more success with the Matildas now ranked number 7 in the world, and reaching the quarterfinals in the last 3 World Cups.
Whilst cricket has always been a national pastime for your boys in Australia it appears that this now applies to girls as well. Around one in five girls between the ages of 6 and 13 now plays cricket and that number is consistently growing.
There are now ample opportunities for girls to get involved in local cricket teams as well as many opportunities to continue into a professional career as they develop.
In its first year of national competition in 2016-17, the AFLW (Australia Football League Women’s) has been a massive success. Huge crowd numbers, large TV audiences and highly skilled, action packed games have been the perfect way to start the new competition and open the doors for future generation of female AFL footballers. The success of the 8-team national competition has created a huge boost in female participation levels of both junior and adult levels, making it an exciting time for any you footballers out there who want to show the world just what you’re made of.