3.6.11 Percentage of students in Grades 6 through 10 who reported that they participated in organized sport, by gender, Canada, 2014

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from the Health Behaviours of School Children (HBSC) Report – 2015.

Girls in Grades 6 through 10 are more likely to participate in individual sports than are boys in the same grades.

However, they are less likely to participate in team sports than are boys.

In Grade 6, 22% of girls said they did not participate in sports compared with 9% of boys.

As the grades increase, girls are less likely to participate in sports – by Grade 10 33% of girls said they did not participate in sports.

Evidence indicates that girls who participate in team sports are likely to be healthier, have better relationships, and do better at school. They have an increased quality of life relating to their physiological, social, emotional, and school functioning. And these benefits persist into adulthood – in their working lives.1 Participation results in improved physical health – and it builds a foundation of participation in physical activity in the future. Research has demonstrated that girls who participate in team sports are more successful academically. Furthermore, recent research on the neurological benefits has demonstrated the brain enhancing benefits of exercise that works at the cellular level. Participation in team sports enhances psychosocial health – with lower levels of depression and anxiety and enhances interpersonal and social skills development. Facing the ups and downs of athletics also helps girls to become more resilient.2

1Fireman L. Team sports for girls brings success on and off the field. Active for Life. https://activeforlife.com/girls-team-sports-success/
2Escobar Olszewski, L. Four Reasons Why Team Sports Are a Win-win for Teens. Why you shouldn’t let your teen opt out of sports. Psychology Today. July 25, 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/drifting-adulthood/201707/four-reasons-why-team-sports-are-win-win-teens

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