Sport is all about using your body and exploring its possible improvement. If you know your own body well, you will want to know how to protect it. Sport can show you how the body works and what happens when it is sick or injured. Right to Play states in the publication ‘Look After Yourself, Look After One Another’ that “all children need to learn that they have some control over their bodies, and that the choices they make and actions they take will affect their health. Girls, in particular, need to learn that their bodies can be self-controlled, and do not belong to others. The essence of body wisdom is clear in sport: respect for the body, for its beauty, its ability, and its potential.”
Knowing how to keep yourself fit and how to treat injuries is an important part of physical education and sport leadership. This knowledge not only helps adolescent girls understand how they can protect themselves in sport, but also how physical activity is an essential part of caring for yourself if, for example, you are dealing with illness.
Useful Examples – Reclaiming Bodily Integrity
Reclaiming bodily integrity is key to healing from trauma. Mandala House offers rehabilitation to trauma victims, such as ex-child soldiers, ex-combatants, gender-based sexual assault victims, and those whole suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Without rehabilitation, trauma victims are often unable to return to a normal life. All of the rehabilitation done with Mandala House is through the practice of yoga, meditation and breathing methods. Yoga helps victims of torture by giving them a sense of control over their bodies again. The mental awareness aspect that is required in yoga teaches these survivors to reclaim their thoughts and minds. Yoga also has been proven to reduce physical and emotional stress. Mandala House staff train local in-country staff, offering a ‘toolkit for trauma’ focused on breathing exercises, meditation and yoga poses. This concise, encapsulated ‘toolkit’ is easily learned and readily taught to others.
Adolescent Girl Life Skill:
Practical Idea: Goal Programme Sessions
- It Could Be Worse – To help young women feel better about the parts of their bodies and personalities they consider to be imperfections.
- Real Beauty Commercials – To give girls the opportunity to think about what real beauty is.
- Get Stronger Using Only Your Body – GoGirlGo! Leaders' Guide from Women Sport’s Foundation