Youth Sport Trust joins forces with The Lego Group to tackle barriers to play

The Youth Sport Trust has announced it has teamed up with the LEGO Group, to power its Girls Active programme in primary schools.

The programme aims to tackle barriers girls experience and empower them to make positive change through participation in sport and play opportunities across the country.

The partnership is part of the LEGO Group’s commitment to inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow through play and breaking down limiting societal stereotypes and biases that hold back creative potential.

Earlier this month the LEGO Group unveiled results from a global study looking into barriers girls face, which showed that the pressure of perfection risks holding them back from reaching their full creative potential.

Among UK girls, 89% feel a pressure to be perfect, 79% say the grown-up use of the word ‘perfect’ invokes negative emotions, while a further 77% of girls say certain words and language make them feel like they need to be perfect. This in turn is having a detrimental effect on outcomes for girls, with 74% admitting to avoiding tasks when they are afraid of not doing them perfectly.

Overall, 78% of UK children say they would be less afraid to try new things if mistakes were praised more as learning opportunities.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive Officer at the Youth Sport Trust commented: “We see how the pressure of perfection is a barrier to girls’ participation and enjoyment of sport and play and where a perfection mindset encourages girls to stay in their lanes and fear failure. At the Youth Sport Trust we are committed to understanding the experiences of young women and girls and how these are constantly changing in a complicated world. Through the work of our Girls Active programme, we are addressing the barriers girls experience, while delivering consistent improvements in belonging and self-esteem, body image and physical identity. We’re grateful to have the support of the LEGO Group and are excited for the opportunity to make a positive change for girls, both now and for their future.”

Christian Pau, General Manager UK and Ireland at The LEGO Group commented: “Play helps develop vital skills that are essential to children’s development and supports building creative confidence, resilience and self-belief. We know that when girls have the space and freedom to express themselves fully and play without limits they are unstoppable, which is why LEGO Group are committed to help break down barriers that stifle this.”

Nine in ten parents say play helps their child’s self-expression, boosts their confidence to experiment, builds creative confidence and provides a safe space to explore and experiment without fear of failure.

To continue championing what can be achieved when girls can play without limits, the LEGO Group has brought together Team Unstoppable 2024 in the UK - a squad of bold, inspirational women to inspire girls with their stories of overcoming the pressure to be perfect and what they have been able to achieve when they can play unstoppable. The team of inspirational women includes Dina Asher-Smith, Lauren Hemp, Jamie Chadwick, Kadeena Cox and Anna Lapwood.

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