Personal care brand Dove has teamed up with Nike to launch the Body Confident Sport online coaching program. Body Confident Sport is a first-of-its-kind, scientifically-proven set of coaching tools to build body confidence in 11- to 17-year-old girls.
Girls who participate in physical activity – and stay with it through adolescence – are more likely to have higher body confidence and experience benefits throughout their lives. However, research from Dove and Nike reveals 57% of teenage girls drop out of sport UK, at twice the rate of boys, with low body confidence as the biggest driver.
Coaches can be powerful role models to create a positive environment for girls in sport, one that prioritises self-esteem over performance. In fact, 73% of girls say their coach was the reason they felt more confident and 61% of girls would be interested in hearing from coaches about body confidence education.
Co-developed by the two brands over the course of two years, in partnership with world-renowned experts, including the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, Body Confident Sport addresses new findings on how the sports environment impacts girls’ body confidence and self-esteem.
Working in partnership with Dove, Venus Williams, tennis champion and entrepreneur, said: “In sports, girls often face a tremendous amount of pressure – not just around performance and abilities, but also because of unrealistic expectations around their appearances. I am excited to be working with Dove on this initiative to help nurture girls’ self-belief and confidence, foster a positive environment, and shift the conversation from appearance to capability. Our shared goal is to make sports a more inclusive, welcoming space for girls everywhere.”
Gold Medal Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez, said: “We know that sport offers girls enormous benefits. Coaches and athletes alike have a collective responsibility to create inclusive spaces and positive experiences that give all girls an opportunity to discover the power of sport. Sport fuels confidence, which in turn enables girls to enjoy a lifetime of moving and playing the sports they love. This is why I’m so proud to team up with Nike to support Body Confident Sport.”
When girls reach adolescence, they experience significant changes to their bodies. As girls move and play sports, this can leave them feeling exposed and vulnerable to judgement for what their bodies can and can’t do, but also how they look.
According to the new findings from Dove and Nike, the sports environment impacts girls’ body confidence and self-esteem:
- 45% of girls dropping out were told they don’t have the right body for sport.
- 53% of girls dropping out were bullied, mocked, objectified, and judged for their appearance.
- Yet girls understand the benefits of sport, with almost 2 in 3 saying they would be more body confident if they had stayed in sport for longer.
The Body Confident Sport online coaching tool is proven to reduce self-objectification and increase body-este em and will be delivered through a global network of organisations in schools and sports clubs. The program builds on Nike’s and Dove’s longstanding commitments to support girls and aims to reach more than one million young people around the world.
Alessandro Manfredi, Chief Marketing Officer, Dove, said: “Since 2004, Dove has been working to arm the next generation with tools to build body confidence and self-esteem so that no young person is held back. As the world’s leading provider of self-esteem and body confidence education for girls, we have a responsibility to support girls wherever their self-esteem is at stake.
“Sport has the potential to make girls feel confident and strong, yet for so many, the judgement and criticism they face within the sports environment is damaging their confidence and limiting their self-belief. We are proud to team up with a likeminded brand like Nike to take action towards a more equitable future for girls – on and off the field.”
Vanessa Garcia-Brito, VP, Chief Social & Community Impact Officer, Nike, said: “Nike believes all kids should have an opportunity to play, and we’re focused on expanding play and sport for girls who are moving the least.
“Globally, girls face complex cultural and social barriers, and they also enter sport later and drop out of sport earlier. Our partnership with Dove, and unique focus on coaching through body confidence, aims to change that. Together, we’re taking action to break barriers by providing coaches with the tools to empower girls with a lifetime of confidence. By shifting the conversation from what their bodies look like to what their bodies can do – so more girls can stay in sport and experience the benefits – we believe we’re creating the next generation of female leaders and changemakers who will move the world forward.”