Suncorp’s 2019 Australian Youth Confidence Report has revealed one in every two Australian teenage girls are turning their backs on sport by the age of 17, despite two-thirds acknowledging that sport can make them feel more confident.
In 2017, Suncorp’s research revealed startling insights about Australian teenage girls decreased participation in team sports and this year’s report has found Australian girls still need help to stop them from quitting sport.
The national survey of more than 1,000 Australian parents and teenagers conducted as part of the Suncorp Team Girls initiative, also revealed that more than half of Australian parents are concerned about their daughter’s self-esteem, as confidence and the perception of themselves is one of the most commonly discussed topics in their home.
Suncorp EGM Brand & Marketing, Mim Haysom, said the findings have reinforced the value participation in sport can provide in building confidence in all areas of life, and the need for greater support to help parents and peers tackle this issue.
“Our research tells us participation in team sport nurtures perseverance, resilience and confidence; essential skills teen girls need now and in the future,” Ms Haysom said.
“This, in turn, can have a real positive impact on their health and wellbeing, career prospects and financial security moving forwards.”
The report seems in contrast to the increased participation numbers that have been reported across a multitude of sporting codes in Australia, especially the rising popularity of the AFLW, with Victoria boasting 1092 women’s AFL teams, up from 58 teams nine years ago.
Nonetheless, more attention needs to be placed on keeping girls in sport beyond their teenage years, as the research draws a direct link for girls of all ages between being confident and achieving success in a range of life dimensions, including their work and social lives.