Sporting Equals latest insight into Young Asian Pakistani females identifies that these women face educational, employment and economic challenges alongside cultural barrier which impact on leisure and lifestyle choices.
Finding the time, the right sort of motivation and the support meant there were limited opportunities for these women to pursue their interests in sport and physical activity.
Many of these young women were active at school and traced their relative lack of engagement in sport and physical activity after they left school linked to lack of confidence, available coaching, suitable facilities and adequate information and support.
Some women expressed a view that the male dominated nature of sport was often viewed by families as an activity for males rather than females. Very little support was given to females to engage in sport with a more direct push for girls to focus on academic studies.
It was important to have places where women could feel comfortable carrying out sport. Places needed to be more accessible for social and recreational sport activities to enable these women to engage with more of a push around local provision.
For many of these women having sports and exercise opportunities run by women for women was a critical factor in engagement, often there was more local demand than opportunities with local female activities oversubscribed. There was also an argument that males routinely had sporting activities effectively organised by and for them why not for women?
There was confidence that if opportunities were provided to train more female coaches and instructors, then more women would come forward to challenge potential objections from male family members.
Achieving more opportunities to connect with sport and physical exercise might involve getting key figures involves in provision and instruction and improving local networks and chances of communication. These young women wanted more role models and a stronger stress on sport and physical activity as a 'sociable', fun' – not just intensely serious or competitive endeavor.
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