Health

Benefits of Sport: The Universal Truths

This much we know is true: sport is one of the most important socio-cultural learning experiences for girls. Aside from the known health benefits yielded by regular participation in sports and physical fitness, there are countless intangibles girls can take away from sports. These lessons will last a lifetime, long after the final high school soccer game or swim team race. Our almost four-decades-long commitment to making sure every girl has the opportunity to learn these lessons has uncovered some universal truths everyone must know. They are:

• High school girls who play sports are less likely to be involved in an unintended pregnancy; more likely to get better grades in school and more likely to graduate than girls who do not play sports.

• Girls and women who play sports have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression.

• Girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports.

• Females who participate in high school sports are more likely to complete college than those who did not participate in sports.

• As little as four hours of exercise a week may reduce a teenage girl’s risk of breast cancer by up to 60%; breast cancer is a disease that afflicts one out of every eight American women.

• Through sports, girls learn important life skills such as teamwork, leadership and confidence.

• Female athletes who participate on one or two school or community sports teams are significantly less likely to smoke regularly than female non-athletes.

• Sports are an asset to American families, fostering communication and trust between parents and children.

• More than three-quarters of working women feel that sports participation helps enhance their self-image.

• Girls’ involvement with sports is related to higher levels of family satisfaction, in both single-parent and dual-parent families.

• High school female athletes have more positive body images than non-athletes.

How are we helping ensure the successful future of our girls? Learn more about our award-winning GoGirlGo! program here.

Our Mission

The Women’s Sports Foundation is a non-profit that advances the lives of women through sports and physical activity.

About the Foundation

RELATED POSTS

Geri Weinstein: 35 days and counting

WSF NYC Marathon runner Geri Weinstein is just 35 days away from the big event! In this week’s video blog installment, Geri talks preparation, personal victories and her feelings on the closely-approaching race.

Get a Girl Going showcases top-notch GoGirlGo! organizations

Last month, our GoGirlGo! programs in Atlanta, Chicago and Seattle launched their first Get a Girl Going contests. This innovative and interactive grant program was designed to encourage organizations in the three communities to demonstrate their ability to deliver girls’ sports and physical activity programs. The contest invited organizations to submit online applications describing how they planned to have girls in their community live healthier, more active lifestyles.

President Obama talks girls' sports on ABC's The View

Watch as Coach Obama talks on ABC's The View about the importance of girls' sports and how special it has been for him to see daughter Sasha develop through playing basketball. The coach of Sasha's team, the Vipers, President Obama says sports makes girls "more confident" and "stronger."