Girls in Fiji picking up hockey sticks to boost self esteem
Girls in Fiji are playing hockey as a way to boost their confidence and self esteem.
The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) has collaborated with the hockey team at St Joseph’s Secondary School in Suva to design a motivational campaign for young women and girls based on the sport.
In a press release, Edwina Kotoisuva, depty coordinator of FWCC says: “FWCC recognises that the participation of women and girls in sports works as a motivational factor, encourages solidarity and enables them to break out of traditional boundaries and roles.”
FWCC kicked off the campaign by asking girls to create slogans about how hockey has affected their lives.
The slogans have been printed onto the school’s shirts and banners. FWCC will also use them for future sports projects involving women and girls.
Research shows that as girls progress through secondary school, their self esteem drops and that without intervention, girls maintain low self image into adulthood.
Low levels of self-esteem are linked to increased rates of depression, substance abuse, suicide and eating disorders in both adolescents and adults.
Kotoisuva acknowledges the challenges of getting teenage girls through adolescence and points to sports as a valuable tool for the development of a positive self image in this age group.
“Through sports, girls and young women learn to assert themselves and have confidence in their bodies and take up the space that they need – the challenge for us as a society is to ensure that they continue to have the opportunity to take up this space in other aspects of their lives.”