Jennifer Heil

Jennifer Heil calls for new approach for girls in sport

Multiple medal winner Jennifer Heil is a living example of the importance of physical literacy: she is the first to admit that she excelled in freestyle skiing because she became a more complete athlete [played a variety of sports as a child].

She is also a champion of getting girls active in sport because doing so gives them “competence and confidence”.

In a recent piece for the Globe and Mail, Heil says that sport must be brought to girls in a way they relate to.

She asks: “When the Olympic Games conclude and amateur sports coverage recedes into the background only to be replaced by more male dominated professional sports, I am wondering how we are to ensure that girls have the inspiration required to continue participating in activities that will see them become active for life?”

Part of the answer is physical literacy. Another part is making sure that girls don’t see sport as being incompatible with being feminine. And we are all responsible for bringing this about. In our social conversation and cultural messages on feminine identity, we need to honour and celebrate girls in sport.

The London 2012 Olympic Games are an important milestone for girls and women in sport. Multiple firsts are taking place. Read more

“How we are to ensure that girls have the inspiration required to continue participating in activities that will see them become active for life?”

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