Karate Fastest Growing Sport For Females

1 October 2017, 08:59 | Updated: 1 October 2017, 09:11


The five fastest growing sports for girls in Scotland have been revealed, with karate topping the list.

New figures published to mark the start of Women and Girls in Sport Week show females are getting involved in more diverse sports.

The biggest increase in participant sessions between 2011/12 and 2016/17 was in karate, with a rise of 248%.

This was followed closely by dodgeball, up 221%. Cross country recorded a rise of 120%, tennis 97% and rugby union 89%.

The top three sports by total participation sessions are netball, football and gymnastics, according to data collected from the Active Schools programme.

Sports Minister Aileen Campbell said: "Increased participation in sport and physical activity improves health and well-being, helps with self-esteem and, at the elite level, brings international success.

"As our first-ever Women and Girls in Sport week will show, increasing numbers are getting involved in such a diverse range of sports.

"For a long time, activity levels among girls has trailed boys and we know there is much more still to do.

"That's why we're working to address the barriers that too many girls and women still face when it comes to getting involved.

"From the Olympic podium to the grassroots, there is a huge amount of success to celebrate across Scotland.

"The week offers a fantastic opportunity to highlight positive stories while driving the changes that will encourage more women into sport and physical activity in the future."

The statistics measured growth over a six-year period and are based on the top 20 participation sports in the Active Schools programme.

Numbers participating in karate rose from 9,915 to 34,544, dodgeball from 7,450 to 24,004, cross country from 34,694 to 76,279 and rugby union from 29,121 to 57,460.

The figures for tennis increased from 21,798 to 41,232, netball from 308,601 to 484,737, football from 185,238 to 325,659 and gymnastics from 108,750 to 201,635.