Gaelic4Girls-The Effectiveness of a 10-Week Multicomponent Community Sports-Based Physical Activity Intervention for 8 to 12-Year-Old Girls

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 22;17(18):6928. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17186928.


Girls are less active than boys throughout childhood and adolescence, with limited research focusing on female community sports-based programs. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a multi-component, community sports-based intervention for increasing girl's physical activity (PA) levels, fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency, and psychological wellbeing, as relative to a second treatment group (the traditionally delivered national comparative program), and a third control group. One hundred and twenty female-only participants (mean age = 10.75 ± 1.44 years), aged 8 to 12 years old from three Ladies Gaelic Football (LGF) community sports clubs (rural and suburban) were allocated to one of three conditions: (1) Intervention Group 1 (n = 43) received a novel, specifically tailored, research-informed Gaelic4Girls (G4G) intervention; (2) Intervention Group 2 (n = 44) used the traditionally delivered, national G4G program, as run by the Ladies Gaelic Football (LGF) Association of Ireland; and (3) Control Group 3 (n = 33) received no G4G intervention (group 1 or 2) conditions and were expected to carry out their usual LGF community sports activities. Primary outcome measurements (at both pre- and 10-week follow up) examining the effectiveness of the G4G intervention included (1) PA, (2) FMS and (3) Psychological correlates (enjoyment levels, self-efficacy, peer and parental support). Following a two (pre to post) by three (intervention group 1, intervention group 2, and control group 3) mixed-model ANOVA, it was highlighted that intervention group 1 significantly increased in PA (p = 0.003), FMS proficiency (p = 0.005) and several psychological correlates of PA (p ≤ 0.005). The findings demonstrate that the 10-week, specifically tailored, research-informed G4G intervention is a feasible and efficacious program, leading to a positive effect on the physical and psychological wellbeing of pre-adolescent Irish girls, relative to the traditionally delivered national G4G comparative program and control group conditions.

Keywords: fundamental movement skills; multi-component intervention; organized youth sport; physical activity; pre-adolescent girls; psychological correlates of physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Soccer*