Active Girls – Healthy Girls mission is to provide sport, exercise, and physical activity opportunities for girls through evidence-based life lessons and a community-based emphasis on physical activity and wellness.
In Spring 2024, we will be holding a camp for girls that will focus on the unique needs and cultures in their neighborhoods in order to build sustainable community relationships where innovative, accessible, and engaging programs can exist and thrive. Through this camp, girls will have the opportunity to explore the joys and benefits of various forms of physical activity and help them find their unique path to a lifetime of movement.
Our Instagram is another opportunity for girls and their families to access educational tools and tips, as well as the celebration of women at the local, collegiate, and professional levels who are going above and beyond!
This includes, but is not limited to: exposure to different sports (i.e. soccer, basketball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, volleyball, etc.) and activities (walking for health, gardening, dance, yoga, etc.), social-emotional lessons about wellness behaviors (i.e. nutrition, mental health, team dynamics, starting middle school, etc.), meeting of UNCG female athletes, and fostering relationships with girls from various backgrounds.Active Girls – Healthy Girls isn’t stopping there. The camp is designed to give us insight and feedback on what works, what warrants improvement, and what needs the community has before launching this into a full-on Summer camp. Since this program is designed with the community in mind, we are getting our community involved. UNCG athletes, staff, and students alike will partake in the planning, training, research, and camp activities themselves. Our team is passionate about providing an environment where learning and exercise can coexist, and not come at the cost of the other. We also know that for young girls, it is essential to have representation involved in these programs that matters. If you can see it, you can be it.
None of this would’ve been possible without the re-envisioning process and work done with the Program For the Advancement of Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity (PAGWSPA), and all those involved.
PAGWSPA has been a program within the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness since 2010. PAGWSPA’s mission has been to advance sport and physical activity opportunities for all girls and women through evidence-based scholarship and community engagement, and through continuing educational opportunities for all professionals who work with girls and women in sport and physical activity settings.
In Spring 2023, we began the process to re-envision and re-invigorate PAGWSPA and we are very excited about the potential to impact lives of girls and women in our community through this program.
To follow is just a glimpse of the concerning data that motivates this program and our vision to “inspire girls and women to lead healthy, active lifestyles, and reach their full potential for mental and physical health and well-being”:
- Cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes are the 2nd, 4th, and 7th leading causes of death in North Carolina. This disease burden is strongly tied to physical inactivity and obesity;
- PA is also strongly associated with mental health. There is a bi-directional relation between depression and physical activity, with low levels of physical activity reported in depressed individuals. Only 7% of depressed adults are sufficiently active compared to almost 60% of non-depressed adults, and studies suggest that almost 80% of individuals with depression fail to meet physical activity guidelines.
- We are particularly concerned with the adolescent female, where we see a significant decrease in physical activity with increasing age (41.9% of 6-11 year-olds and 15.3% of 12-17 year-olds report levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity that meet physical activity recommendations); and where high school females are 50% less likely than high school boys to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Females with disabilities or who are obese fall well below their peers in reported physical activity.
- Significant socio- economic disparity exists in sport participation – 24% of children from low-income households compared to 43% from high-income households engage in regular sport activity.
- The prevalence of meeting recommended screen time outside of school work (2 hours or less) has declined from 33% in 2015-16 to 20% in 2017-2018.
Data from Physical Activity Alliance 2022 Physical Activity Report Card for Children and Youth The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) was a part of the former American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance (AAHPERD), now the Society of Health and Physical Educators. When AAHERPD experienced structural and leadership changes in 2010, the leaders of NAGWS sought an outside entity to preserve the NAGWS legacy. In 2010, the Program for the Advancement for Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity (PAGWSPA) was established at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness (CWHW).
The Center for Women’s Health and Wellness would like to acknowledge and thank the re-envisioning team members that are assisting in re-invigorating PAGWSPA: Babbi Lois Hawkins, Sandra Shultz, Jessica Dollar, DeAnne Brooks, Emily Janke, Erin Reifsteck, Gayle Rose, Jody Smith, Judy Fowler, Kimberley Miller, Meredith Gringle, Michael Hemphill, Sam Goldenstein, Brianna White, Claire Newman, Madeleine Meinhold, Akaysia Delaney, Jaclyn Maher, Liz York, Stefanie Milroy, Maslyn Behler, Eryn Murray, Emily Postlethwait
Ultimately, Active Girls – Healthy Girls is a place where an emphasis on joy, confidence, and health exists in conjunction with movement. We hope you’ll stay connected and start moving with us!