A double award-winning programme, Us Girls is designed to increase and sustain young women’s participation in sport and physical activity within some of the nation’s most disadvantaged communities. Through successful networking and influencing, StreetGames aims to support and change the behaviour and practice of community sport institutions in order to make female sports participation a routine part of their core work in communities challenged by poverty and disadvantage.

The Us Girls key message is #funfitnessfriends and is about removing the barriers which affect girls accessing sport, fitness and exercise. Us Girls successful practises include: female-only sessions, lifestyle role models, reward schemes, wellbeing and confidence inspiring activities, empowerment and the development of women and girls as motivators, volunteers, and peer leaders.

  • Women are less active that men, with 27% of women inactive and a further 15% fairly active but doing less than the recommended amount of physical activity

  • 78% of 14-16 year old girls understand that physical activity is important, yet only 28% enjoy taking part

The programme launched in England in 2011 as a two year initiative to get 30,000 young females (aged 16-25 years) more active. The initiative received £2.3 million of National Lottery investment from Sport England as part of their campaign to tackle the gender gap in sport. The project initially focused on 50 disadvantaged areas across England and, with over 34,000 young women taking part in the initial sessions, that target was soon exceeded. 

In 2013, Us Girls won the public vote for the National Lottery Award for Best Sports Project.

In 2015, Us Girls was launched in Wales, focusing on females aged 13-19 living in deprived areas who were either inactive or semi-active. To date, the Us Girls programme in Wales has reached over 5,500 female participants and has involved 130 new Us Girls volunteers. The programme was a roaring success and was named the Sporting Experience of the Year for 2017. The prize, handed out as part of Wales Sport Awards was granted to StreetGames in recognition of their efforts to energise and empower disadvantaged young women through sport and physical activity.

Judges noted that the programme had achieved “staggering results [in] attracting new ‘hard-to-reach’ female participants, volunteers, coaches and leaders”. 

Sam said: “Thanks to Us Girls and the Big Sisters I’ve become much more confident and eager to try new sports. Without the Big Sisters’ constant support and encouragement, I would not be the person that I am today.

 

"Taking part in these sessions has not only helped me with engaging in sports but it has also helped me be much more confident in school.”