Over half of girls aged 11-16 are missing out on the benefits of participating in sport and physical activity, and participation declines further for those from lower socioeconomic and ethnically diverse communities. They can develop negative views towards sport and physical activity which means they stop enjoying sports participation and this can create ongoing barriers.
These barriers and others can be experienced by teenage girls who are deaf or hard of hearing, and this research considers deaf teenage girls lives and what the specific barriers faced by these groups are, as well as what can be done to better support these girls to achieve their goals at whatever level anywhere from grassroots to elite level.
The research focused on 18 girls (age range from Year 8 to college) drawn from three schools across England (including the Midlands and South East). All enjoyed physical activity and participated either formally or informally in a broad range of sports including basketball, boxing, gym, football, volleyball and archery. In addition a PE teacher at a deaf school also provided her perspective on participation.
A range of issues are highlighted such as trouble finding appropriate activities, feeling intimidated, isolated and worried about communication problems, environments not being inclusive and deaf-friendly, lack of role models, discrimination and bias. Overall barriers relate to finding, starting, continuing and then progressing in an activity. There are Recommendations and Case Studies included towards the end of the report too.