‘Playing Like a Girl’: Female participation in physical activity and sport in Northern Ireland
Dr Katie Liston and Prof Marie Murphy (Ulster Univerity)
This presentation examines the relationship between sport and physical activity participation, and gender in Northern Ireland and globally. By drawing on the latest peer-reviewed research on physical activity, sports participation, gender ideologies and role expectations, it describes international best practice in the promotion of women’s involvement in sport and physical activity (PA). Following this is an examination of the barriers – real and perceived – that constrain (if not prevent) girls’ and women’s full participation in sport and physical activity and a consideration of how these barriers can be overcome. Research involving novel interventions designed to encourage female involvement in sport and PA is reviewed. Finally, the presentation draws from the collective expertise of Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute to suggest ways in which government in Northern Ireland might take the initiative in addressing the consistent gender imbalance in participation levels in PA and sport.