In 2015, Canada hosted the Women’s World Cup, the biggest sporting event on the planet. Why do girls sports matter and what does this have to do with the World Cup? The reasons girls play sports are at least as numerous as the reasons boys play sports. Factor in all the statistics and global challenges you have ever read about the plight of girls and women from economic neglect to teenage pregnancies, rape, genital mutilation, domestic abuse, limited education opportunities and the absence of representation in political matters and we are just scratching the surface of why sports and physical activity can make a difference.
A girl who plays sports gains confidence in her body. She learns to connect and be empowered through her efforts with the people around her. She learns that she can accomplish goals, take on leadership roles, and make healthy choices for herself that may help steer her away from abusing alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and participating in gangs or crime. She may make stronger relationship decisions and become a positive role model for her children if she chooses to be a parent. Women athletes can be fantastic employees or business owners because they understand the values that drive sports: commitment, integrity, cooperation and overcoming adversity.
Given the intrinsic zest stimulated in their bodies from playing and having fun, they are more likely to be creative, intelligent, appreciate the environment and make wiser dietary choices because they are in tune with themselves. Quite frankly, they look a heck of a lot better than the majority of the population that has dozed off on the couch with a bag of Doritos. They don’t need to read as many books searching for happiness because they ARE happy. And besides the odd broken bone, bruise or sprain, they are mentally tougher, they probably cost the health care industry bundles less, and they are just as sexy as the Beckhams and Ronaldos we all pay millions to see.