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Why do women stop playing club sport at 15?

News & Events / Why do women stop playing club sport at 15?

Ausplay data shows that women are much less likely to play team sport than men, with just 15% participating at the club level by the age of 25.

The data suggests that from about the age of 15, nearly a third of girls will stop playing club sport. Within five years, another third will have left the club.

Looking at these numbers, you might think that women and girls are less active than men, particularly as they grow older.

However, the same survey shows that women and girls are just as active as men; they’re just getting their exercise fix elsewhere.

Over half of the women surveyed keep fit by pounding the pavement, walking or running in their local areas. Another 37% stay active by going to the gym.

The most popular team sports are netball and tennis. Yet just fewer than 10% of women surveyed were a part of a netball or tennis team.



Staying fit and active is important for many women, so why do women and girls look for other ways to keep fit as they get older?


  • An issue of equality.

A recent survey of Australian girls found that they felt inequality was most profound in sport.

  • There are fewer opportunities.

While the landscape certainly is changing, there are many cases when girls are forced to leave their local club as there’s no team for them to play with.

  • An absence of role-models.

In Australia, women’s professional sport receives just 7% of Australian sports programming. There are plenty of incredible female athletes for young girls to aspire to, but many of their achievements are not celebrated.

  • Changing self-image.

Many girls are stopping playing sport at fifteen during those tricky teenage years. A change in self-image can lead to insecurity and a lack of confidence, or even just a change in interests.




For local sporting clubs, it’s important to take notice of these results – after all, women and girls make up over half of the population! Being an inclusive club for women and girls is not only the ethical thing to do, it will also help to attract new members.

Click here for some practical tips.

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