Studies have shown that girls aged 14-16 are three times more likely than their male counterparts to drop out of sport. 64% of girls will have quit sport entirely by the end of puberty. As a Foundation, we want our girls to set a new precedent.
We are very proud of our sports offer for the girls at Belmont and are pleased that our participation rates, thankfully, do not reflect the national trend.
When our girls leave us aged 13, we want to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, with a genuine love for exercise. We know, however, that they are faced with many barriers to participation. Taboo topics such as periods, poor diet, poor body literacy, pelvic floor issues and breast development are seldom spoken about, despite being integral for female health, fitness and wellness.
We want to help support the girls and those who look after them, navigate the journey of puberty so they stay engaged and active in sport and exercise.
To help do this, The Mill Hill Foundation has teamed up with The Well HQ. The Well, which launched in 2021, was founded by three women: Baz Moffat, former GB Rower (the Coach); Dr Bella Smith, GP and Women’s Health Specialist (the GP); and Dr Emma Ross, former Lead Physiologist at the English Institute of Sport (the Scientist). All three are experts across the spectrum of women’s health and performance with a combined desire and passion to make sport, fitness and physical activity a lifestyle choice that makes women thrive.
To launch our Foundation-wide events, the Well HQ hosted a parent webinar last Thursday, where Dr Ross spoke to parents about how they can support their girls as they go through the seismic changes that puberty brings and help them stay engaged in sport and exercise throughout their journey. On Friday, Belmont girls in Years 5, 7 and 8 enjoyed a day’s seminar sessions, led by Baz and Emma. They spoke honestly and in depth about women’s bowel health, breasts, the bladder, pelvic floor health and the importance of sleep, nutrition and fuelling the body correctly.
In November, Mill Hill Senior School will be hosting a day’s conference run by the team from The Well HQ. Belmont girls in Years 7 and 8 will join the day’s event.
“We were hugely privileged to be joined by Emma and Baz from The Well HQ. The support and guidance they gave to our girls was truly inspirational, creating a safe space where the girls could explore often taboo topics with honesty and openness. We were honoured to be the first Prep School in the country to host The Well and hope this is the start of a journey for all our girls as we help them navigate puberty and stay engaged in sport and exercise.”
Lotte Goldthorpe, Director of Sport and Activities, Belmont.
“It was really interesting and insightful. We covered topics not always spoken about at school. They were really kind and very helpful answering our questions”.
Lola – Year 8
“Baz and Emma gave us the space and courage to talk about uncomfortable topics… which is a good thing! They helped give us lots of self-confidence”.
Ruby – Year 8
We encourage all parents to watch the webinar if they can.
Please click here to view, the password will be in the Belmont newsletter.
More information on The Well HQ can be found here
Miss Goldthorpe, (Director of Sport, Belmont)