Some teenage girls can think of little worse than getting sweaty and unkempt after an enthusiastic sports session.
But the Swindon School Sports Partnership is making great leaps in making sport fashionable for those who dread PE.
“We want exercise to be part of life after they leave school. Sometimes if parents aren’t active then children don’t have a role-model to follow,” said Swindon School Sports Partnership development manager Juliet Rayden
Rowing, cheerleading, dancing, golf and badminton were just some of the sports provided by the Government-funded partnership for girls during a special day.
About 160 girls from eight Swindon secondary schools paraded their way through a plethora of sports activities – trying each for size at an Active Girls Day in the Link Centre.
The pupils were able to dictate the sports schedule, as they got a chance to choose what activities they fancied before the day.
The partnership also offered any new sport converts cash to set up activity clubs at school.
“We want them to take what they have experienced here today back to their schools,” said Juliet Rayden.
“And we want exercise to be part of life after they leave school. Sometimes if parents aren’t active then children don’t have a role-model to follow.
“Increasing children’s participation in school physical activity is crucial to the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of every child.”
In Swindon, 86 per cent of pupils did the recommended two hours of PE last school year – up from nine per cent the year before.
But the partnership is working towards pupils doing five hours of exercise every week – two hours through PE and another three via agencies working with schools.
Juliet said: “Not everyone goes for traditional team sports in PE so we want to show pupils there are other alternatives.”
Girls can sometimes be put off sport, as it can leave their expertly groomed locks in disarray, said Juliet.
“It may be something as simple as not having a mirror in a changing room that can put teenagers off,” she said.