By Jessica Ní Mháirtín and Nikki Murphy
The new program ‘Get Girls Active’ set up by the DIT Sports Office and the Fit2Go club is to encourage girls to participate in sports of all kind.
Male domination is across the board in all sports here in DIT and the main aim of this program is to help girls engage in sporting activities within the college atmosphere. Caragh O’Buachalla is a Sports Officer in DIT and she has been heavily involved in the coordination of the program.
“Female participation levels are low in general in DIT sports clubs, there was a chance to put a proposal together to get seed funding from Campus Life for initiatives to increase participation,” said Caragh.
After meeting with groups of female students and following extensive research there was a proposal sent forward to Campus Life to seek funding for the program. The research found that there was very little emphasis on female-only activities and the feedback from the girls that were contacted showed a pattern that most girls that wanted to get involved in sports were too intimidated by the ratio of males to females.
“One of the main issues that was cropping up time and time again was that they are intimidated in mixed classes and activities, they don’t want to commit to an ongoing Club activity and didn’t want to travel, so we put together a 6 week programme of activities that the girls said would be of interest to them.
“All our Clubs are male dominated. Unfortunately we need more resources to fund more recreational activities, but watch this space for more intramural type activities throughout the year.”
In this particular program, all fitness levels have been taken into account and it is heavily focused on participation as opposed to competitiveness, however, an elite level is also catered for and can be approached from either a competitive perspective or a more relaxed angle and that makes the program very appealing to the girls across all campuses.
“Our Clubs programmes cater from beginners to elite, while the girls get to know each other they can buddy up and try out some of the Clubs – overcoming the intimidation of joining a club on their own. They have an amazing opportunity to try out activities at an affordable price that they wouldn’t normally get a chance to try ie Diving Courses, Climbing Wall, Karting, Wakeboarding, Kitesurfing, Sailing lessons etc.,” said Caragh.
When the six-week programme has been completed, all coordinators will review the engagement and progression of the ‘Get Girls Active’ programme and if there is a positive result, the DIT Sports Office and Fit2Go club will definitely look into expanding the programme in partnership with Campus Life.
For more information on the programme you can contact the Sports Office on 014023042, or you can email [email protected] for more information.