ALDI Play Rugby has worked hard to encourage girls to play sport and increase female participation in rugby from a young age. With the TikTok Women’s Six Nations kicking off on March 25th, they have undertaken research* into female participation in sport.
Among the survey’s findings were that nearly two thirds of women (64%) say they wish they had played more sport as a child. Additionally, it found that over half of female respondents (52%) have never played a team sport compared to just 25% of male respondents. Moreover, it found evidence that a lack of participation in sport in childhood carries through to adulthood with men more than twice as likely as women to be active in a team sport (33% vs. 15%).
Beibhinn Parsons, Irish Rugby International, ALDI Ambassador and Coral Leisure Ambassador added: “While great strides have been made when it comes to encouraging girls and women to take part in sports, this survey shows that there is more work to be done. As an ALDI ambassador, I am immensely proud of the work ALDI and Irish Rugby have done to nurture the next generation of Irish rugby players. It warms my heart to see so many young girls picking up a rugby ball thanks to the ALDI Play Rugby programme. With the right support, I firmly believe that many will develop a lifelong grá for the sport and have no doubt that we’ll see some of them in the green jersey in years to come!”
Respondents agreed that playing sports can confer huge benefits to children, both on and off the playing field. For instance, 91% of female respondents believe that sport provides a valuable social outlet for children. Elsewhere, 89% of women surveyed think that sport provides kids with important skills that can be transferred to other areas of their lives, including school, friendships and beyond, as well as huge mental benefits. Finally, 87% of female respondents agree that playing sports can help kids make friends.
Rita Kirwan, Director of Marketing, ALDI Ireland “Sport changes lives. Not only does it help foster healthy habits that can last a lifetime, but it also enables kids to make new friends, acquire leadership skills that can be used on and off the pitch, and develop resilience. ALDI Play Rugby has made a difference to so many children, especially girls. I hope even more primary schools will get on board this year so we can get more kids out playing sports.”