Since times immemorial, women have had to put up with several fights and cross impediments that the patriarchal society loved to throw at them. They had their work and roles cut out for them. With one finger on their lips (because God forbid they speak!) and chains firmly tied to their feet, all they were expected to do was rub kitchen floors and nurture their families. Then came the suffragette movement, where women recognized that they had more to contribute to society than just stay confined within the four walls built by the patriarchy. They fought for their voting rights.
Gradually, with every wave of feminism, they started owning their bodies and reproductive rights, penetrated the job sector and broke one glass ceiling after another. And today, after the struggles of tens of thousands of women all across the globe, and throughout history, women have taken on the world. From the corporate sector to the domain of sports, women have made a mark for themselves everywhere and emerged as astonishing examples of success, strength and hard work.
However, is the fight truly over? Are women truly at par with their male counterparts, and are they placed on an equal pedestal with their male colleagues? The short answer to all these pressing questions would be, No!
Women and Sports:
When speaking of more unconventional career roles, like sports, women still shy away and are subjected to the opprobrium of sorts by society. Society sees sports as a domain that must be the prerogative of men. Male athletes and sportsmen are celebrated and iconized. On the other hand, women athletes are still not encouraged much.
However, considering all aspects, young girls must be encouraged more to indulge in sports, and not just because it is a lucrative career choice. Sports have a number of perks that young girls can benefit from.
Speaking of which, in this article, we shall look into why young girls must be more involved in sports and the ways in which sports can contribute to the holistic development of their personalities.
How Do Sports Benefit Young Girls – A Glimpse:
It is essential to understand and acknowledge that young boys and adults alike, have benefitted from the various socio-cultural learning dimensions of sports. However, young girls have been kept away from the same benefits and experiences since one can remember. That said, it is essential to remember the following points—
- Young girls who indulge in sports develop better social skills, are more likely to earn better grades in school and have higher confidence levels.
- Sports also help young girls and women to keep depression, anxiety and several mental health issues at bay. They develop a positive outlook on life and learn to face failures with grace and optimism.
- It has also been studied that girls who play sports have more positive body image and are psychologically more fit than girls who do not indulge in sports.
These are a few of the many reasons why young girls must be encouraged to play any sport. Indulging in sports is not just about carving a successful career in the domain. Sports have several physical, psychological and sociological benefits that a young woman shall need in her life and career.
Having said that, we shall now dig a little deeper into the topic and discuss all the other reasons why young girls must play sports of sorts. Therefore, without delaying any further, let us look at these reasons in greater depth and details.
Sports Help Young Girls Cater to their Mental and Physical Well-Being
We have laid emphasis on this point since the beginning of the article. Young girls can benefit significantly from playing sports of sorts. There is a myriad of physiological, psychological and sociological benefits of playing sports. And men have always explored these benefits. This is because, since childhood, they have always been pushed towards this domain and encouraged to play to their heart’s content. The same is not true for young girls. However, it is important for young girls to indulge in sports for the reasons we just stated.
It has been observed that sports help in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women by 60 per cent, and keep them agile. They also help prevent the risk of developing osteoporosis, which is a condition where bones become brittle. Women belonging to the older generation were always prohibited from playing sports, which would eventually make their bones brittle and give rise to several other health conditions. One of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis, breast cancers, and diseases as such is by encouraging young girls to partake in sports of any kind.
Studies have also shown that sports help in abating several mental health disorders. Women have several roles to play, and many battles to fight every day. And though mental health disorders do not always need a reason to prey on someone, the sociological struggles that women have to put up with each day, give rise to depression, anxiety and stress. Indulging in sports abate these symptoms and help young girls and women deal with their stress and keep their mental health from falling apart.
Young Girls Grow Up Learning the Values of Teamwork
Sports teach young girls the value of teamwork. While young boys, with their active participation in sports, grow up learning about teamwork, work ethics and other factors required for success in the workspace, not all women are provided with the same opportunity. These are things that they end up learning on their own, and more often than not, the learning remains half-baked.
This creates several impediments for them at their workplaces and hinders their growth. Though one shall be inane to assume that only athletic women have a higher chance of success at work, it is true that they have a statistical advantage over girls who have never participated in sports. Not all types of knowledge can be acquired from the printed letters of books. And girls who grow up playing sports learn about the dynamics in the workplace better.
Sports Help Girls Have a Healthy Friend Circle
Human beings are gregarious animals, and women have only each other as their pillars of support. The patriarchy has never made life easy for girls since their childhood. This is why they need the support of other girls too. Young girls who indulge in sports usually end up becoming closer to other girls in the team and make tight and healthy social circles. These girls grow up together to become strong and beautiful women who always have each other’s back. Research has shown that achievements form the basis of most male friendships due to societal conditioning.
However, this is not the case when it comes to female friendships. Women learn to take care of each other and stick with each other through thick and thin. Such social circles are easily formed, and healthy female friendships are fostered when girls indulge in sports since a very young age. They learn to support each other not just in the sporting endeavors, but in all other aspects of life. These girls grow up, penetrate into the corporate sector and other workplaces and form strong ties with their tribe.
Girls who Play Get Better Grades in School
Studies have shown that girls who indulge in sports of any kind do better in school. They strain their mind and body to make wise decisions on the field, which, in turn, helps them achieve good grades in their schools. Research and data also show that girls who participate in sports since a very young age are more likely to graduate than girls who do not. This is because sports, besides improving physical dexterity, improve memory, sharpen their learning skills and wit, and make them better decision-makers.
Playing a game requires an individual to make several decisions. Young girls indulging in sports learn to make such decisions and do well in school and college. Once they graduate college, they even learn to make quick and smart decisions at their workplace, which further helps them to break the glass ceiling.
Sports have a number of advantages. However, more often than not, these benefits are only ever made use of by the men in our society. This is because boys are encouraged to pick up a sport of their liking and pursue that further down their life. They are free to carve a career out of their favorite sport and are encouraged at every step. However, from the discussion we had in this article today, it can be seen that young girls must be motivated and encouraged to take up a sport early on in their life so that there is equity in society and so that they find equal opportunities to make it big in the career of their choice.