The power of girls and team sports
My weeks are pretty busy, and I have always loved the quiet pace we have had as a family at the weekends. We have always tended to lie fairly low, with not too much scheduled time. However, the kids are getting older and there are clubs and activities that have started to kick in. This morning I took my daughter to netball at 8am (which despite the fact that I am up at 5am Monday to Friday, seemed really early) and my husband took the boys to rugby.
It was actually a nice way to start the morning. I went for a run whilst Poppy was playing, and caught the last ten minutes or so of the session. She is seven and just starting netball, and it’s her first team sport. It really took me back to my school days as I played a lot in my childhood. Whilst running around the track, I was thinking about team sports for girls, and how critical it is in setting them up for life.
At the NextGen conference the other week one of the panel speakers said ‘we women are programmed to compete against each other’. We take that sense of ‘being threatened’ into business with us and don’t support each other the way we should. I have always maintained that things need to change at school in order for our daughters to reach equality in business and in the world as a whole. And isn’t team sport a fantastic way to start that process?
Seven young girls working together on a court is really powerful. Of course it doesn’t matter what the sport is, it could be hockey or lacrosse or football or rugby or anything else, but it’s about having something where they work together, as a team, with a purpose. And that they learn it when they are young.
I would love to do poll and see whether there is a link between supportive female business leaders and team sports as a child. My guess would be there is.