A young girl from West Yorkshire has penned an inspirational open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May to encourage a transformation of sport and physical education for primary school children.
In a heartfelt video, Nya Ella, seven, says she wants to see more time for PE at school, more choice, better equipment, more outside time for sport and would like it to be more fun.
She speaks of the challenges she faced when trying to play sport.
“I was very excited to play football, but the only way I could do it was an after-school club that cost extra pennies,” Nya said.
“When I went I was the only girl and I was not made very welcome.
“I liked the football, but the coach was not very good accepting a girl with the boys. I didn’t go back as I felt sad.”
Nya’s mum, Calderdale businesswoman and retail guru Kate Hardcastle, is a huge advocate of pushing PE further up the agenda in schools to increase participation.
She said: “I had no realisation of the size of the passion from my own daughter on this topic - despite being in regular conversation.
“Her words were so powerful, I asked her to write them down.”
Kate says it’s vital to talk to girls in age seven plus age group - a Girl Guiding study from last year showed that a girl’s attitude towards body confidence and their appearance can change heavily from this age to when they reach their mid-teens.
This research will be part of the Women Sport Conference North II, which will be held at the Alhambra Theatre Bradford on March 7.
Last year, a parliamentary report claimed the school PE system was “failing” pupils.
Baroness Floella Benjamin, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, told the House of Lords that there was need to revise the teaching of the subject.
Despite this, Lord Nash told the House of Lords that there are “no plans” to review the curriculum and that a PE taskforce - a recommendation highlighted in the report - was unnecessary.
Kate is currently supporting the Courier’s #sistersport campaign, which aims to celebrate active women and encourage more females to give sport a go - regardless of age, ability, skill or confidence level.