What Sports are Most Popular for Girls?

It is no secret that the last decade has seen a huge surge in popularity for women’s sport, with female games seeing increased funding and participation. Currently, far more boys (79%) than girls (57%) play sports outside of school or college, but the gap is closing.

According to a survey of 2,000 school-aged children conducted by OnePoll.com, 27% of girls are part of an organised sports team or club and 43% believe that boys find it easier to participate in grassroots sports than girls. Here, we look at the five most popular sports for girls to play as per the cited survey.

5. Gymnastics

Gymnastics is one of the sports that tend to be more popular amongst girls than it is for boys, so it shouldn’t be overly surprising to find it in the top five. Gymnastics does rank number 10 for the boys and, interestingly, 25% of the children polled did say that they would like to be able to participate in a sport that is more commonly associated with the opposite sex.

4. Cricket

Whereas gymnastics can stake claim to being a female-dominated sport, the same cannot be said for cricket, even though the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup was one of the most-watched women’s sports events with a global audience of 89 million. That represents a staggering 131% increase on the previous holding of the event in 2018 and it’s expected that the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup will be even bigger.

Across England and Wales, 10 million women aged between 14 and 40 play cricket, which is two million fewer than men. Cricket is also fourth for the most popular sports for boys to play outside of school.

3. Tennis

If any sport can claim to have equality between the sex, it is tennis, with both men and women having mainstream platforms in which to perform. Globally, as of 2019, 47% of all tennis players are female and 12% of the 25 million tennis players in Europe live in the UK. The recent success of Emma Raducanu will also undoubtedly help to boost participation numbers amongst girls in the UK. Tennis was also the third most popular sport for boys to play.

2. Football

Arguably, no sport has seen bigger growth in the women’s game than football has over the last 10 to 15 years. The introduction of the Women’s Super League and the sport moving towards a professional game, rather than playing becoming semi-pro at best, means that girls can harbour the same dreams as their male counterparts and have hopes of having a career as a footballer. In 2020, the English FA achieved its target of doubling female participation in the sport, reporting a 54% increase of affiliated women’s and girls teams to 9,251 and 3.4 million players. Football tops the list of most popular sports for boys to play.

1. Swimming

Swimming is more than just a sport, it is a valuable life skill, so the increase of female participation is fantastic for many reasons. The likes of Rebecca Adlington and Ellie Simmonds are just two recognisable names that have enjoyed great success in recent years, winning Olympic and Paralympic golds respectively, and role models such as these will have done no harm for female participation in the UK. For boys, swimming is the second most popular sport to participate in.

Here at Fen Regis Trophies, we are delighted that more and more girls are playing sport. To encourage and reward their achievements, why not take a look at our range of trophies and awards? If you would like any information regarding the products on our website, please do not hesitate to get in contact by giving us a call or sending an email.

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