Despite large numbers of young people attending Satellite Clubs, female participation only contributed to 37% and 38% of total engagement in 2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively.
Our existing female focused Satellite Clubs which evidenced the most impact have empowering young people with decision making responsibility, sets challenges/goals, used rewards to incentivise regular attendance and celebrated success. Replicating these principles, our approach was targeted at females aged 14-16 who did not enjoy PE lessons and were disengaged with sport and physical activity both during and after school. Some of these girls had taken part in ‘Girls Active’ programmes, which had begun the process of making positive change to their behaviours and attitude to being regularly active.
We compiled a ‘Leg it Lancashire Girls Active’ Satellite Club package for secondary schools which included access to the Leaders in Running Fitness (LIRF) course, Basic First Aid training, Running Assistant Young Leaders AQA, 20 free places to attend an Event (i.e. Pretty Muddy/Colour Run), Satellite Clubs merchandise and £200 funding to reward participants. The offer was communicated by LSP’s Children & Young People lead through the SGO network to promote and raise awareness of the initiative to PE staff across Lancashire.
To facilitate easy access to the training offer, LSP purchased LIRF courses on behalf of run leaders and arranged first aid training courses. A total of 7 run leaders from 4 different clubs completed the LIRF training. Despite our efforts to promote the First Aid training to run leaders and assistant leaders, the course was postponed due to the lack of delegates. Currently no assistant leaders have completed their AQA. We plan to promote the training and development offer again to our clubs over the coming months.
To date, 104 females aged 14-16 have attended the Satellite Clubs operating our approach. The offer has also engaged girls aged 12-13 due to interest generating through ‘Girls Active’ and additional offers through attending the Satellite Club, i.e. rewards, events.
3 clubs used their funding to attend a Pretty Muddy event in 2017.
One club which has evidenced high levels of positive impact is at Albany Academy, Chorley.
Beth Millburn, PE Teacher, “identified girls who lacked confidence, with low self-esteem and asked them what they didn’t like about sport and PE and if they would like to join a club to help them improve their confidence and have fun”.
Angel, aged 14, started attending because “I saw everyone else who was going to attend, they were not good at sport and I didn’t feel intimidated by them, so I thought it would be fun to join”. After attending a Pretty Muddy event it “made me feel a sense of unity with everyone else that was coming to the club”. She said the best thing about attending is “if I mess up, no one judges you and we’re in it together”.
Beth highlighted one girl who struggled and felt scared by PE lessons “couldn’t even run 100m and she did the Pretty Muddy which was a massive challenge for her and she absolutely loved it, it was brilliant”. Another participant “was struggling even to get changed for PE and had issues mentally. Since coming to the club she’s smiling a lot more in school, attending school more often and as a result she’s enjoying her PE lessons and was part of the rounders team last summer”.
Asked to describe the positive impact from the Satellite Club offer, Beth commented about a change in the girl’s attitude to being active and a culture change, “if they do something wrong it doesn’t matter, so the whole ethos around PE has changed. They seem to be lots happier”
As a result of the dramatic impact from the girls attending a Pretty Muddy event in 2017, Beth ensures a series of periodic events are incorporated into her club to act as behaviour change nudges. A Santa Dash in December, Sport Relief Challenge in March, Bubble Rush event in April and Pretty Muddy in July are key to maintaining regular activity habits, building a sense of unity amongst the group, achieving personal goals, rewarding young people, and most importantly, a chance to enjoy a memorable, fun experience.
Our approach has effectively contributed to addressing the disparity between male and female representation at our Satellite Clubs which existed previously. Females currently represent 48% of total participants for 2017/18, which is a significant increase from the previous year.