Visa launches new platform to tackle the trend of Australian girls dropping out of sport

The FIFA World Cup women’s football in Australia & New Zealand presents a great opportunity to encourage girls’ participation in sports. Research by Year13 and Visa reveals that girls tend to drop out of sports around the age of 15 due to various factors, including the lack of role models, body confidence issues, and conflicts with studying. The study emphasizes the importance of visible role models and family influence in girls’ sports participation.

The research found that 60% of young girls lack female sports stars to look up to, while 20% can’t remember the last time they saw women’s sports highlights in the media. Real and relatable role models are crucial, as bodily insecurities lead to 31% of girls quitting sports. Parents were identified as the second most influential group after friends, yet 70% of girls have parents who don’t play sports, and 62% say their families rarely or never watch women’s sports.

“As a young girl, juggling everything in my life with my passion for sport was sometimes challenging but not only has sport given me a career, it has also given me so much more – from confidence and resilience to lifelong friends. I’m proud to be a Team Visa athlete and hope I can play a role in encouraging girls to stay in sport”, commented Australian footballer Ellie Carpenter.

To address these issues, Visa and Year13 have launched the Year13 & Visa PlayOn initiative. It aims to raise awareness about the benefits of sports for girls on and off the pitch, provide access to role models like Ellie Carpenter, Claudia Bunge, and Dame Valerie Adams, and showcase the importance of sports in different industries. The initiative encourages parents and schools to have conversations with their daughters about the long-term benefits of staying in sports beyond the age of 15.

By utilizing the FIFA Women’s World Cup as a catalyst, parents can seize this opportunity to involve their daughters in sports as they grow older and progress through high school. It’s essential to address the lack of role models, promote body confidence, and ensure that girls have access to positive influences. Visa’s commitment to empowering girls and women, along with Year13’s platform, can help inspire and support the next generation of female athletes.

With the right support, positive role models, and a focus on promoting body confidence, girls can discover the lifelong benefits of sports. Together, we can empower the next generation of female athletes and foster a love for sports that extends far beyond this tournament..

Year13 is a digital enterprise and ed-tech that supports young people as they navigate the challenges that come with growing up, with a focus on upgrading the school to work transition and supporting young people’s wellbeing. Year13 & Visa PlayOn will be hosted on Year13 digital and social platforms.

Images: Matildas’ and Team Visa Star, Ellie Carpenter (now 2023) and as a young footballer.