Lidl Ireland has unveiled the findings of its latest State of the Nation research which examines the impact participation in sport has on female secondary school students.
The research was carried out by Spark in August 2023 canvassing 350 females nationwide aged between 12-18 years.
Lidl, official retail partner of the LGFA and proud sponsor of the All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools competitions, first commissioned research on the attitudes of young females towards participation in sport in 2017 producing the first State of the Nation report which gave a unique insight into the views of females 12-18 years of age.
Attitudes Of Young Females
This latest Lidl research revisits the attitudes of young females to participation in sport following the disruption of the COVID pandemic.
Lidl’s 2023 State of the Nation research reveals that body confidence has increased among female secondary school students since 2017.
Carla Rowe, Dublin All-Ireland winning captain, post primary school teacher and Lidl Ambassador, said, "We cannot underestimate the impact COVID has had on this age group particularly in relation to their mental wellbeing.
"Over the past six years there has been huge growth in female participation and sponsors like Lidl have played a major role in supporting that growth, not just in LGFA but in women’s sport in general."
While overall body confidence has increased from 28% to 36%, girls that play sport are significantly more likely to have high levels of body confidence (40%) compared to girls who do not play sport (25%), the research indicated.
The number of girls who believe their mental wellbeing is strong has declined from 52% in 2017 to 43% in 2023 but 49% of girls that play sport report strong levels of mental wellbeing compared to just 29% of those that do not play sport.
Among the benefits of playing sport cited by girls in the research was that it is good for your physical health (73%), increased mental wellbeing (49%), increased energy levels (49%), lifelong friendships (42%) and increased confidence (39%).
Commenting on the research, J.P. Scally, CEO, Lidl Ireland, said, “In particular, we are pleased to see girls participation in sport grow from 39% to 50% since our research in 2017, as well as the growing popularity of Ladies Gaelic Football as their sport of choice."