Ideas For Recruiting Girls

Designing a strategy for recruiting girls will depend on the particular cultural context of where the sport programme takes place. However, there are some general tips that seem to be relevant for sport programmes across the globe.

  • Understand and address all barriers to participation.
  • Encourage girls to bring their friends. Word-of-mouth is a powerful recruitment tool. Programme partners report that over more than 50% of participants come from referrals from friends.
  • Create partnerships with schools, religious institutions or other groups that serve girls.
  • Post flyers in public places where girls and their caregivers are likely to be.
  • Host tournaments. Pass out information. Have current members share their experiences.
  • Meet with community leaders. Ask for their influence in spreading a positive word about the programme.
  • Partner with other organisations that serve girls.
  • Go door-to-door. Explain programme benefits and details to girls and their families. Solicit the help of trusted community women, as they might be more openly received in their neighbours’ homes.
  • Give financial incentives, when possible. If a girl can earn extra money by providing a service for the programme, such as cleaning uniforms or officiating, her caregivers might be more likely to support her participation.
  • Advertise constantly. Post a sign outside your training facility. Wear programme t-shirts and encourage girls to do the same. Speak about the benefits of sport in the lives of girls to anyone who is willing to listen.
  • When recruiting girls, rather than doing a general meeting to see who comes and signs up, advertise a try-out or selection day. This creates a sense of competition that could motivate the girls to come and feel as if they have “earned” a spot in the programme. However, this must be carefully considered since creating a competitive atmosphere could also alienate girls who have never played sports and or have low self- esteem, even if they are already guaranteed a spot.