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Live Studio You event helps tackle PE enjoyment gap

The project by our This Girl Can team was broadcast live from a London school to help young girls across the country see the positive powers of PE and physical activity.

3rd May 2024

Studio You hosted an empowering live event in East London this week as the project, powered by our This Girl Can campaign, stepped up its mission to change the way girls see physical activity. 

Hosted by BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Swarzy, the broadcast featured a panel of relatable voices sharing their personal stories, challenging negative narratives, and tackling taboos.  

A group of secondary school students sat on chairs in a sports hall watch a panel discussion between a host and five women.

It took place at Mulberry Academy in Shoreditch, where students were joined virtually by more than 40,000 pupils – from more than 1,000 secondary schools – listening online to the informal discussion among the diverse panellists, who included: 

  • Lucy and Emily, ambassadors for the Big Sister project, a Women in Sport initiative that aims to provide practical solutions to help girls navigate their journey through puberty and exercise.
  • Founder of Empowered Movement, Nike instructor and original Studio You dance instructor Tia Denton
  • Our This Girl Can campaign activation manager Dani Ward, who looks after the Studio You project. 
  • NHS doctor, qualified personal trainer and host of the Vision of Health podcast Dr Frankie Jackson-Spence

Between them, they offered insight on topics such as puberty, periods and stereotypes in sport, giving practical advice on how to tackle some of the barriers to girls getting active, as well as taking questions from the audience. 

"The event was brilliant," Dani said. "Our research found that girls find PE ‘embarrassing’ and stressful’. The lack of enjoyment girls are getting from PE is really worrying, particularly when it’s barriers like puberty and feeling self-conscious that are holding them back. No girl should feel that PE isn’t for them. 

"We really hope the event helped girls to realise that getting active can take lots of different forms and not to feel like they can’t enjoy them because they’re not ‘sporty enough’. There are so many positives of teenagers getting active: better focus, boosted confidence, feelings of self-worth.

"Our panellists really focused on this and the live chat was buzzing with help and advice. I hope if girls take just one thing away from the event, it’s that movement and activity is for everyone. Labels like sporty and not sporty aren’t helpful – at Studio You, we’re here to help girls find what feels right for them."

"I hope if girls take just one thing away from the event, it’s that movement and activity is for everyone. Labels like sporty and not sporty aren’t helpful – at Studio You, we’re here to help girls find what feels right for them."

Dani Ward

This Girl Can campaign activation manager

Can I watch the event on demand?

We'll be posting some of the content from the live event across our This Girl Can and Sport England social channels over the next week.

We'll also share an on-demand recording of the event for those who missed it over the next week – keep your eyes on our socials for updates. 

It’ll help your students discover there is so much variety when it comes to getting active; there is no 'one size fits all' mould that girls need to fit into. You can do it for fun, friendship or to try something new. There’s something for everyone. 

What’s more, physical activity brings many other benefits to students, from boosting confidence to improving behaviour, academic performance and engagement in school.

A screengrab of a website hosting a live streaming of a panel discussion in front of students in a secondary school sports hall. A stream of live questions is shown on the right.

What is Studio You?

Physical education is a great way to get more girls moving, yet secondary-aged girls, on average, skip twice as many PE lessons in a school term compared to boys. 

That’s why, three years ago, This Girl Can partnered with Hopscotch Consulting to launch Studio You, a curriculum-linked platform designed to help every girl, of every background and ability, enjoy PE. 

But recent findings by Studio You show girls are still enjoying PE less than boys. 

And because enjoyment is one of the biggest drivers when it comes to getting active, there’s still work to do to make PE inclusive for all girls.

This Girl Can hope this week’s special event will spark action and inspire both teachers and students to close this ‘enjoyment gap’. 

Find out more

Register for Studio You and support our quest to help girls experience the joy of being active.

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