She Belongs: Building Social Connection for Lasting Participation in Sport

When a girl chooses to play sports, what she will gain goes far beyond kicking a ball, learning a new stroke, or crossing a finish line. Through positive sport experiences, girls are more likely to reap the benefits of sport participation and grow into confident and motivated leaders.

Creating a positive social environment that intentionally fosters a sense of belonging is integral to the retention of girls in sport and physical activity. For many boys, good performance creates a stronger sense of social belonging. In contrast, for many girls, feeling a strong sense of social belonging will enhance their performance.

This resource is designed for coaches who are ready to intentionally support equitable sport. She Belongs offers practical recommendations to create social connection and better engage girls in the Learn to Train and Train to Train stages of the Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity Framework (LTD). Everyone involved—sport and physical activity organizations, coaches, managers and leaders, as well as parents/guardians—plays an integral role in creating the environments where girls can participate and have fun.

Check out this infographic (PDF or JPG) if you want to share a few of the tips from She Belongs on how to enhance social connection, which helps to keep girls in sport!