This is the sixth post in the Confidence Stories series in partnership with Always®. Confidence Stories feature stories, tips and ideas to support girls, build their confidence, and encourage them to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl.

Most girls start out strong in life: they score higher than boys in reading and writing, they tend to make friends more easily, and they have stronger verbal skills. However, as they approach adolescence, many girls start to struggle

Research shows that only 14% of girls in Grade 10 feel confident, yet confidence is at the core of a number of positive outcomes for girls, including higher grades, better physical health, more career choices, and higher earning potential.

When a girl feels confident, she is also more likely to ask for help, to have the strength to resist peer pressure, to cope better with conflict and other problems, and to not blame herself if she is assaulted.

That’s why it’s crucial that we help girls build up their confidence before they reach adolescence, and one of the most effective ways we can do it is by encouraging them to get involved and stay involved in sports and physical activity.

Always®and the Canadian Women’s Foundation are committed to stopping the drop in girls’ confidence. Together, we developed the Confidence Stories blog series to provide useful tips, tools, and inspiration that will help girls stay confident and keep playing #LikeAGirl:

  • We introduced our Confidence Stories series back in October, sharing that, by age 14, girls quit sports at twice the rate of boys. In fact, 7 out of 10 girls feel they don’t belong in sports, which can play a critical role in building confidence.
  • Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL, provided tips for coaches, teachers and parents to help girls get in, and stay in the game;
  • Stephanie Labbé, goalkeeper for the Canadian National Women’s Soccer Team, Olympic bronze medalist, and Always #LikeAGirl ambassador, shared her inspiring personal story of commitment and resilience that got her to the podium;
  • Canadian Women’s Foundation staff offered their parenting advice for raising confident girls;
  • And Sara and Vanessa from the Canadian Women’s Foundation-funded program Girls Got Game in Surrey, BC, shared the impact that physical activity is having on newcomer and refugee girls in their community.

We know that with the right kind of help at the right time, girls can stop the drop in confidence: 92% of girls who participated in a Canadian Women’s Foundation-funded program reported feeling more confident as a result, and 95% of parents agreed that the program strengthened their daughter’s confidence.

Go Girls! in New Brunswick is one such program, and with support from the Canadian Women’s Foundation Girls’ Fund partners, including Always, it’s transforming how girls think about themselves, their bodies, and their abilities. Program staff have seen girls go from being so self-conscious of their bodies that they wouldn’t run across the room, to leading physical activities in their schools. One girl shared this: “I learned a lot of different things, about sports, about critical thinking, about good food choices, but I also learned that it is okay to be me. They also taught me to love myself.”

We hope this series has helped to stop the drop in confidence, and encouraged someone in your life to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl. If so, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.  

For more than two decades, Always has built girls’ confidence by providing puberty education to organizations and schools across Canada. Through their #LikeAGirl campaign, Always has become a corporate brand leader in building awareness around girls’ confidence.

Always generously supports the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Girls’ Fund, which, this year, will help more than 1,000 girls in 44 communities participate in programs that engage their bodies, minds, and spirits.

For additional tools and resources to help girls stay confident, download the confidence toolkit from Always.

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