The Sweaty Betty Foundation and charity London Sport partner to tackle low inactivity levels amongst teenage girls in the capital
The new project will provide female-led dance projects in one of London’s most deprived boroughs
Sessions will be hosted in community spaces in Tower Hamlets where fewer than half of girls are achieving the recommended levels of activity
LONDON, UK | London Sport has announced a new partnership with the Sweaty Betty Foundation to launch a project that harnesses the power of dance to tackle inactivity amongst teenage girls.
From September 2023 to August 2024, female-led dance sessions will be offered to teenage girls in three different wards in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived boroughs in the city.
Currently, less than half of teenage girls in Tower Hamlets are achieving the recommended levels of physical activity, and therefore not reaping the physical, mental, social and even academic benefits that an active life can bring.
This project will focus on addressing the barriers that teenage girls face, particularly in later teen years. Recent data from Women in Sport’s Tackling Teenage Disengagement Report highlighted an alarming trend in disengagement from sport and exercise when girls transition from primary to secondary school, with a further dip at age 17-18. Some of the barriers highlighted included safety concerns, lack of female-only spaces, and lack of female-led delivery.
London Sport and the Sweaty Betty Foundation will also be focusing on girls from diverse ethnic backgrounds where the gender activity gap is higher than for children from White backgrounds. For boys and girls from Black and Asian communities in particular, there is a large disparity in activity levels (approx. 10% difference).
By addressing the key barriers to activity, the project hopes transform local community spaces into activity hubs providing difference dance types – including Afro Beats, Hip-Hop, Modern, and Bhangra-inspired genres – to support young women improve their relationship with physical activity and build an active habit for life.
Tanya Rabin, Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications at London Sport, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Sweaty Betty Foundation to offer an exciting and engaging way for girls in Tower Hamlets to be active. By giving these participants the opportunity to try out a wide range of different activities and dances, our hope is that we can help them to find a new passion and create a long-term healthy habit in a safe, fun and supportive environment”.
Sophie Planes, Business Development Manager at The Sweaty Betty Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside London Sport on this new and exciting dance project for girls in Tower Hamlets. We understand the barriers that many girls face to participating in sport and physical activity, and we’re passionate about tackling these barriers head on. We’re looking forward to seeing the impact this project has and we can’t wait to see how many girls we can help find an activity they’ll love.”
As well as helping more girls to be active and enjoy the sessions, the project also aims to:
- Generate Insight: to better understand the needs of young girls and the barriers to activity
- Evidencing Impact: to demonstrate how the sessions have affected the participants and to use this evidence to create or scale up similar projects across the capital
- Catalyse Sustainability: to use this project to promote more opportunities for girls to be active
About London Sport
London Sport is a charity that exists to help all Londoners live longer, healthier and happier lives through being active.
Our focus is on children and adults in the most deprived communities who face the greatest challenges of inequality. With physical inactivity responsible for 1 in 6 premature deaths, we want to help every Londoner find their way to move more.
We are supported by Sport England and the Mayor of London and collaborate with London’s local authorities and other organisations to provide better access to sport and physical activity across the capital.
About the Sweaty Betty Foundation
The Sweaty Betty Foundation was launched in March 2021 with the support of their partner and funder Sweaty Betty, the activewear brand for women.
Their mission is to empower women and girls from every background to get active, and stay active, for life.
The Foundation’s focus for the first few years is supporting girls aged 10–18 to try new activities at school, at home and in their communities, so that they can discover the ways they love to get active.