Women Sports: Five new clubs have joined Daughters and Dads Active programme

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Five new football clubs have joined the 'Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered,' programme.

Leyton Orient Trust, The Albion Foundation (West Bromwich Albion), Foundation of Light (Sunderland AFC), Middlesbrough FC Foundation and Stoke City Community Trust and will join Fulham FC Foundation who were part of the pilot programme.

The award-winning programme Daughters and Dads which is also known as 'DAD,' aims to help girls aged 5-11 years with their wellbeing, physical activity levels and sports through challenging stereotypes and increasing fathers' and father figures ability to be role models to their daughter's. This is done through a 90-minute weekly programme.

The community-based programme encourages the idea "that girls are just as capable as boys at physical activity and should be able to enjoy the same opportunities, both individually and with their family."

Originally, DAD was designed by the University of Newcastle in Australia and introduced in the UK in 2019 by Fatherhood Institute in partnership with Women in Sport and the English Football League Trust. The 11 families that took part in the programme reported a positive experience with a stronger father and daughter bond and girls the feeling more positive about their abilities.

The programme along with physical activity teaches parenting skills to fathers to better connect with their daughters.

Having a strong male influence in life is not only important for boys but girls also. A father and daughters relationship influences aspects of a girls self-esteem, image and how she views other men and these factors can carry on into adulthood.

In one of Dad's testimonies from the programme, he found his daughter was "more confident in taking on challenges and much less affected by those challenges when things aren't quite working out.

The programme also benefits other members of the family.

“ I am very grateful the D&D opportunity came around when it did, we needed it. You have helped us map out what kind of parents we want to be and what skills we want to equip our daughters with and the skill's to do it." (D&D Mum, 2015)

Mike Diaper, Executive Director of Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity, at Sport England is committed to doing more to help girls and less affluent families be active and tackling gender stereotypes in sports.

As a child who used to go jogging with my dad, I see how sports as an activity can allow you to bond with your father or father figure. It's an encouraging program that will hopefully begin to reshape the relationship between girls and sports and also their relationships with their fathers.

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