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Helen Grant: women should be offered the sport they want

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Sports minister Helen Grant has called for women to be offered a wider choice of sports in order to increase the number of females playing sport.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, she expressed her worries that women were being put off by memories of being forced to play football at school.

She added there was a need to "step back and actually ask women what they want and give it to them".

"There are some wonderful sports which you can do and perform to a very high level and I think those participating look absolutely radiant and very feminine such as ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading and even roller-skating," Grant said.

Grants comments come after the most recent Active People Survey – published last month – showed that the number of women playing sport has declined since the 2012 Olympics.

Tim Woodhouse, head of policy at the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, said Grant's comments regarding school sport ring true.

"Our research show that 51 per cent of girls say that PE and school sport currently puts them off being physically active," he said.

"It is crucial we address this and we are pleased to see that the sports minister agrees with us that girls need to be offered a variety of activities in school. It is unacceptable that only 8% of 14-year-old girls meet recommended activity levels.

"The benefits of participation in sport are clear. As well as the obvious health benefits and developing leadership and teamwork skills, being physically active is perhaps the best way of increasing body confidence and self esteem amongst girls and young women."

To read Helen Grant's comments in full,click here for the Daily Telegraph article.

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Sports ministerHelen Grant has called for women to be offered a wider choice of sports in order to increase the number of females playing sport.
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