I'm not going to lie to you - and you've probably worked this out for yourself already! - but I've never been a particularly sporty person. Aside from a brief period in my mid-twenties, when glamorous and expensive gym memberships were all the rage, shopping has been the only vaguely energetic activity that I've managed to keep up. Now that I'm a bit older I'm conscious of attempting to keep fit and healthy, so I do go for the odd jog when I get a bit of time to myself, but back at school I was one of those people who avoided all extra-curricuclar sports clubs like the plague and I mastered the art of forging my mum's signature on fake sick notes to get me out of P.E. lessons at an early age.
With a track record like that, I'm not entirely sure where Daisy gets her sporting abilities from! She absolutely loves gymnastics and swimming and ballet, has won gold and silver medals in the long jump at school, got a certificate for the most keepy-uppies in football and was selected to run on behalf of KS1 in the inter-school sports day which, I'm told, is quite an achievement for a six year old! I'm so, so, so proud of her, and I really hope she wants to keep it up as she gets older.
In 2014, Always launched the #LikeAGirl campaign, which was inspired by the insight that starting puberty and getting your first period is often the lowest moment in confidence for girls. The famous video changed perception of the phrase "like a girl" which, previously, had been a pretty negative one, particularly in sports. (How many times have we heard it used in the context "you run LIKE A GIRL" before we all watched that video?) It led to Always continuing with their research and launching the Unstoppabble #LikeAGirl campaign in 2015 and now, ahead of the Rio games, they have teamed up with double Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Trott to continue to inspire girls to stay active and playing sports into adulthood in their Keep Playing #LikeAGirl campaign for 2016. Take a look at this brilliant video to find out more.
The research conducted by Always revealed that by the time girls have finished puberty (16-17years old), 64% of them will have quit sport altogether. 80% felt as if they did not belong in sport, with only one in three feeling as if it was actively encouraged by society. These findings are pretty shocking in this day and age, even for an unsporty person like me!
And that's exactly why Laura was so keen to be on board with this campaign, to be a positive role model and encourage girls to not give up. She says: “Puberty can be such challenging time for girls, you suddenly feel really self-conscious about lots of things and start thinking you can’t or shouldn’t do certain activities. I remember kids making fun of me for cycling and wearing a helmet and that would really knock my confidence. But playing sport taught me that by believing in myself, and never quitting, you can achieve great things.That’s why I am proud to be supporting the Always #LikeAGirl mission to help stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty. Sport really is one of the strongest confidence building activities and as a female athlete competing in the Olympic Games I want to encourage and inspire girls everywhere to keep playing #LikeAGirl and never quit.”
The Olympics is a time when female sports participation is in the public eye, so it's the perfect opportunity for Always to launch this campaign to help build girls' confidence and inspire a world where every girl feels that she can, and wants to, Keep Playing #LikeAGirl. You can help rewrite the rules by pledging that you'll Keep Playing #LikeAGirl too - just upload a picture or video on social media using the hashtag to show your support and inspire young girls everywhere.