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Girls struggle more to play sports longer

WINNIPEG — It’s the time of year when organized sports starts back up.

“I am going to try out for the volleyball team, I do gymnastics, and then I play soccer,” said Mckinley Reid-Whyte, a Grade 6 student.

It seems children don’t all have the same experience playing sports.

“When I played on the Timbits soccer, the boys would never pass the ball,” said Reid-Whyte. “They just want to be like the star … it wasn’t very fun.”

While more girls are signing up for sports, studies have shown by the time they turn 14, they are quitting sports twice as fast as boys.

One of the main reasons is social stigma.

“I do think that part of it is this idea that girls throw like a girl, run like a girl, pass like a girl,” said Jocelyn Thorpe, a women and gender studies professor at the University of Manitoba. “It makes it not appealing for someone to pass a ball to someone who supposedly doesn’t know what to do with it.”

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Jon Rempel has coached the University of Manitoba women’s Bisons hockey team for a decade. Girls should try their best to stick with sports, he said.

“Using sport to develop life skills is an extremely important thing for females because building self-esteem and self-confidence for a female is a very difficult thing,” said Rempel.