An independent school in London is set to host a Sport in Her Shoes conference, focusing on a broad range of issues faced by women and girls participating in physical activity.
The two-day gathering at Highgate School will cover a number of lesser-discussed topics, including how to create environments that would lead to fewer girls stopping sport during puberty, and the impact of individuals’ menstrual cycle on physical activity.
“We hope it will be a fantastic opportunity to empower colleagues, pupils and parents to understand the female body, how to bring science into practice and how to reduce the stigma of talking about some of these topics,” said Stephanie Pride, Highgate’s director of sport and exercise.
The conference is designed for teachers, pupils and parents or carers, and will cover health, wellbeing and performance issues, together with their implications for school life, physical activity, participation and sport.
Sport in Her Shoes is the idea of The Well HQ, an initiative aiming to “bridge the knowledge gap” when it comes to female participation in sport by offering evidence-based education and normalising conversations about the challenges people might be facing.
“In 2019, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists published a report saying that women were woefully uneducated about their bodies at every life stage,” said Baz Moffat, a former Team GB rower and co-founder of The Well.
“Sport in Her Shoes is our solution to fixing the problem that girls and women just don’t know much about their bodies beyond the biological basics, and this is holding them back from doing and excelling in sport.”
Other areas set to be explored at the conference include female-centric nutrition, breast support, and looking at why girls are more likely than boys to suffer from concussion, joint injuries, and pelvic floor issues.
“The success of any school sport programme should be the long-term engagement through and beyond childhood, and developing physically competent and confident girls is key to this,” added Pride.
“This conference will enable participants to develop pedagogical excellence in this area of education and sport using science and research to fully understand and design our programme, working alongside our girls and supporting them to thrive.”
Sport in her Shoes will take place at Highgate School from 9-10 June.
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