Football boosts girls' self-confidence more than other sports, according to study
Last Updated: 17/05/17 9:23am
New research suggests that football can have a greater positive impact on the self-confidence of teenage girls than other popular sports.
The research - conducted by UEFA and an elite group of specialists - suggests that although women's football is at different stages in its development across Europe, there are many similarities when it comes to its impact on self-confidence.
The most powerful being that wherever they live, whatever their stage in the game, girls who play football are more confident than girls who don't play sport. Moreover, girls who play football are more confident than girls who play other sports.
The study is the largest of its kind and features primary data collected across six countries - Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Poland and Turkey - from 4128 girls and young women aged 13 and over.
Key findings include 80% of teenage girls saying they felt more confident as a result of being part of their football team compared to 74% who played other sports.
More than half (54%) of young footballers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement 'I am less concerned what others think about me as a result of playing my sport', compared with 41% of those who played other sports.
58% of the 13-year-old female footballers questioned said they had overcome a lack of self-confidence as a result of playing football, compared with 51% of girls who play other sports.
And 48% said they are less self-conscious as a result of playing football, compared with 40% of those who play other sports.
UEFA's women's football advisor and former FIFA World Player of the Year Nadine Kessler said: "This study shows that girls who play football have greater self-confidence than those who don't play the game.
"I can't emphasise enough how important this is when you are growing up. I am certain that we can change perceptions and make it cool for teenage girls to play football. If we manage to achieve this, we will be on our way to achieving our goal of making football the number one sport for girls around Europe."
On June 1 UEFA will launch Together #WePlayStrong, a ground-breaking campaign aiming to make football the number one participation sport of girls and women in Europe by 2022. Football is already the most popular team sport amongst girls and women in England with around 3m participants.
This summer's UEFA Women's EURO 2017 tournament in the Netherlands will involve 16 teams for the first time.