Teenage girls have been identified as being at high risk of taking no participation in sport and doing very little physical exercise of any sort. In Scotland, efforts are in place to reverse this trend through the medium of dance and following the success of the three year Dance in Schools Initiative a new programme has been launched with further funding from the Scottish government.
Free to Dance is part of the Scottish Government’s anti-obesity programme aimed specifically at young girls and will offer teenage girls in Glasgow, Ayreshire and Orkney the opportunity to adopt a more active lifestyle through dance sessions after school, in the evening and at weekends.
In choosing three very different areas of Scotland, the organiser, YDance (Scottish Youth Dance), has opted for a focused, long term approach in these three areas, rather than adopt a more diluted scatter gun approach across the whole country.
They have also broadened the range of participating partners to include health, sport and cultural organisations within the three areas in order to tailor the initiative to suit the very individual needs of each.
In Orkney the project is making dance accessible to teenage girls across all the islands, whilst in Glasgow the initiative is specifically targeting regeneration areas in the city in partnership with the Active Schools Network and the Community Learning Team.
Shona Robinson, Minister for Public Health in the Scottish Executive, said of the scheme ‘The benefits of physical activity to health and well being are enormous and we are committed to increasing participation across all age groups.’
She went on ‘Activities such as dance are likely to be a far more attractive option for many girls and young women than competitive sports.
Source: sportex health
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