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New video PE classes for teenage girls

Studio you is a Netflix-style library of non-competitive and non-traditional activities designed to give 13-16-year-old girls a more positive experience of PE.

A new video-on-demand platform is hoping to inspire teenage girls to get active through fun PE lessons.

This Girl Can’s Studio You launches today and aims to increase the number of teenage girls meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guideline level of physical activity for their age. Currently, 57% of girls aged 13-16 are not meeting the guidelines, with 52.9% citing a lack of confidence and 57.2% saying self-consciousness is a barrier to them getting active.

“Many girls grow up to have a negative relationship with exercise,”

Studio You has been created with teenage girls and PE teachers and is designed to break down these barriers.

Supported by the Association of Physical Education, the Netflix-Style platform will be free and allow PE teachers to teach classes in activities such as yoga, boxing, Pilates and dance – all of which our research showed would be popular among teenage girls than more traditional offerings.

And with almost a third of teenage girls (32.4%) saying they haven’t found anything they enjoy, this is a key factor in why Studio You can help PE teachers.

“Many girls grow up to have a negative relationship with exercise,” said Kate Dale, our campaigns lead.

“Studio You is the resource we need to help them have a positive relationship with it instead. And for some girls, PE at school is their only chance to get active – so it’s important to make it fun and get the experience right for them.

“We know PE teachers want all their students to enjoy PE, but the pressures of school life and being a teenager make this challenging.

“Studio You is here to help teachers to get girls enjoying exercise, to close the gender activity gap and to help girls build healthy habits for life.” We invested £1.5 million of National Lottery funding into the platform, which features more than 100 videos and has been developed by Hopscotch Consulting.

We know that teenage years are the peak time during which girls drop out of school sport and develop negative attitudes towards physical activity, with almost two thirds (64%) of girls quitting sport altogether by the age of 17.

The pandemic has made this worse, with disruptions and the closure of schools meaning 62% of teenage girls were doing less activity during the pandemic than before.

So, with only 34% of girls in Years 9-11 strongly agreeing that they enjoy taking part in PE, compared to 56% of boys the same age, the non-traditional and non-competitive aspects of Studio You are designed to combat this.

“The class was really fun and it made me feel like I was doing well and keeping fit; it was really good,” said one Year 9 pupil who participated in a Studio You pilot class at her school.

The platform was trialled in a group of 20 schools across the country during its development, and it wasn’t just the pupils who felt its benefits.

“We’ve all been so impressed with the platform and the research that has gone into producing it,” said a PE teacher from one of the 20 schools.

“The Studio You resources and videos are potential game-changers for some of our girls. We will be implementing these into our curriculum.”

Radio and TV presenter Vick Hope is championing Studio You and wishes it had been around while she was at school.

I sometimes enjoyed sport at school, but I felt insecure that I wasn’t as good as other girls,” she said. “I lacked confidence and worried about my body and being judged.

“But as an adult, I learned how important exercise is for my mental and physical wellbeing and wish I had known that earlier in life.

“I’m delighted to back Studio You to help girls to discover the joys of getting active; the pressures of being a teenager today means they need the positive boost and resilience that exercise gives more than ever.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re not the best or how you look – it’s all about having fun.”


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