Lidl Ireland Research Shows Increase in Body Confidence but Decline in Mental Wellbeing Among 12–18-Year-Old Girls Since 2017
Girls Who Play Sport Have Greater Levels of Body Confidence and Mental Wellbeing
Lidl State of the Nation Teenage Girls and Sport Report 2023
Examines Attitudes to Sport of Girls 12-18 Years of Age
Lidl Plus Rewards Scheme to Focus Funding on Gaelic games in Secondary Schools
- High Levels of Body Confidence up to 36% from 28% (2017) - 40% for girls who play sport vs 25% for girls who do not play sport
- Strong Mental Wellbeing down to 43% from 52% (2017) - 49% for girls who play sport vs 29% for girls who do not play sport
- 20% of those who gave up playing sport stopped during COVID and did not return
- 50% of female secondary school students are playing sport vs 39% in 2017
- Lidl have invested more than €575,000 in LGFA clubs via Lidl Plus LGFA Rewards Scheme
- Schools that collect 50 stamp cards could win €50,000 for local LGFA Project
Dublin, Sunday 3rd September 2023 Lidl Ireland have unveiled the findings of their latest State of the Nation research which examines the impact participation in sport has on female secondary school students (girls 12-18 years of age). This September, Lidl is launching its Lidl Plus LGFA Rewards scheme to support funding for Ladies Gaelic Football teams in secondary schools around the country.
Lidl, official retail partner of the LGFA and proud sponsor of the All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools competitions, first commissioned research on the attitudes of young females towards participation in sport in 2017 producing the first State of the Nation report which gave a unique insight into the views of females 12-18 years of age.
This latest Lidl research revisits the attitudes of young females to participation in sport following the disruption of the COVID pandemic. The research was carried out by Spark in August 2023 canvassing 350 females nationwide aged between 12-18 years.
Lidl’s 2023 State of the Nation research reveals that body confidence has increased among female secondary school students since 2017. While overall body confidence has increased from 28% to 36%, girls that play sport are significantly more likely to have high levels of body confidence (40%) compared to girls who do not play sport (25%).
The number of girls who believe their mental wellbeing is strong has declined from 52% in 2017 to 43% in 2023 but 49% of girls that play sport report strong levels of mental wellbeing compared to just 29% of those that do not play sport. Among the benefits of playing sport cited by girls in the research was that it is good for your physical health (73%), increased mental wellbeing (49%), increased energy levels (49%), lifelong friendships (42%) and increased confidence (39%).
Female secondary school student participation in sport is flourishing, with 50% stating that they currently play sport compared to 39% in 2017, highlighting that the focus on promoting women’s sport such as Lidl’s partnership with the LGFA has had a positive impact. The pandemic has had an impact on participation, with one in five of those who stopped participating claiming they stopped playing sport during COVID and never returned. One in three said they lost interest in sport as a result of the pandemic while almost one in two (47%) said they found it hard to return to sport after the lockdown.
The top five most important factors for girls aged 12-18 years to participate in sport are: a Shared Experience with Friends (66%), a Fun Training Environment (59%), Quality Coaching (36%), Representing their School or Community (34%) and Access to Good Facilities (25%). Ladies Gaelic Football is the leading sport according to the research, with 41% playing the game while 28% are playing Camogie, 25% are playing soccer and 21% are playing Basketball. 51% of 12-14-year-old girls who play a team sport are playing Ladies Gaelic Football.
J.P. Scally, CEO Lidl Ireland, said, “This is an important piece of research which gives a fantastic insight into the positive role sport can play in the lives of female secondary school students. In particular, we are pleased to see girls participation in sport grow from 39% to 50% since our research in 2017, as well as the growing popularity of Ladies Gaelic Football as their sport of choice. Through the Lidl Plus Rewards scheme we have invested more than €575,000 in LGFA clubs over the past two years. The State of the Nation research illustrates how vital our schools are in keeping girls connected to sport. Promotion and funding are vital to keep the momentum going and we hope to make a similar impact in supporting Ladies Gaelic Football in secondary schools this year through the rewards scheme.”
Carla Rowe, Dublin All-Ireland winning captain, post primary school teacher and Lidl Ambassador, said, “It’s fantastic to see that there has been an uplift in positivity around body confidence as this is a massive issue for teenage girls. We cannot underestimate the impact COVID has had on this age group particularly in relation to their mental wellbeing. Over the past 6 years there has been huge growth in female participation and sponsors like Lidl have played a major role in supporting that growth, not just in LGFA but in women’s sport in general. This latest initiative from Lidl, providing resources for Ladies Gaelic Football in secondary schools will help to keep teenage girls in sport, developing life skills and life-long friendships.”
Mícheál Naughton, LGFA President, said: “This is another vital piece of research from Lidl Ireland which provides so many valuable findings that we can absorb and take on board. We have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Lidl Ireland since 2016 and their work from grassroots level to the elite stage has helped to elevate our sport to unprecedented levels. As well as investing at local level in schools and clubs with various initiatives, Lidl Ireland are also conscious of the wider picture and how our players are coping with the various demands of not only football, but everyday life. It is hugely encouraging to note that girls participation in sport continues to grow and long may this continue. It’s also heartening to read about the positive impact on body confidence and mental wellbeing that involvement in sport can bring. I applaud Lidl Ireland on another excellent piece of research and well done to all involved in putting the State of the Nation report together.”
Launching today Monday 4th September 2023, the Lidl Plus LGFA Rewards Scheme is focusing support on secondary schools where Ladies Gaelic Football is played and all Lidl shoppers are encouraged to show #SeriousSupport for their local school.
From today, Monday, 4th September until Sunday 22nd October, every time you spend €40 in store and scan the Lidl Plus app, you earn a stamp. Six stamps will fill your stamp card which you can assign to your local school via the Lidl Plus app. Schools that receive 50 stamp cards or more secure a set of Lidl sponsored jerseys and will also automatically qualify to be in with a chance to win €50,000 to invest in facilities, equipment, or resources for Ladies Gaelic Football in their school.
Exclusive access to LGFA 50th Anniversary Jersey via Lidl Plus LGFA Rewards Scheme
The first 10,000 shoppers to compete a stamp card will receive a limited edition LGFA 50th Anniversary Jersey designed by seven-year-old Aoife Callanan from Cork who plays Ladies Gaelic Football for Courcey Rovers.
Access to Lidl #SeriousSupport Schools Programme - Athlete Mentors
All schools that receive 50 completed stamp cards will automatically be nominated to take part in the Lidl #SeriousSupport Schools Programme - a joint partnership with the LGFA and Youth Sports Trust. This incredibly impactful and popular programme sees current and former inter-county players share their experiences in sport with students via assembly talks and skill building workshops.
Lidl State of the Nations Research 2023 – Key Findings
All figures relate to females 12-18 years of age (Research undertaken in 2023 and 2017 by Spark)
36% report a high level of body confidence vs 28% in 2017.
40% who play sport report a high level of body confidence vs 30% in 2017
25% who do not play sport report a high level of body confidence vs 26% in 2017
43% report strong mental wellbeing vs 52% in 2017
49% who play sport report strong mental wellbeing vs 59% in 2017
29% who do not play sport report strong mental wellbeing vs 47% in 2017
Participation in Sport
50% playing sport vs 39% in 2017
13% play in school but not voluntarily vs 29% in 2017
11% have never played sport vs 4% in 2017
Top Benefits of Playing Sport
73% good for your physical health
49% increased mental wellbeing
49% increased energy levels
42% lifelong friends
39% increased confidence
Top Five Most Important Factors for Participating in a Team Sport
66% shared Experience with Friends
59% fun training experience
36% quality of coaching
34% representing my school or community
25% access to good facilities
33% lost interest in sport as a result of the Pandemic (of those who dropped out)
47% found it hard to return to sport after lockdown
59% were happy to return to sport after lockdown
Lidl Plus LGFA Rewards Scheme Table
Number of Stamp Cards
1 set of Lidl sponsored jerseys
Automatic entry into €50,000 grand prize /
€10,000 provincial prize
2 sets of Lidl sponsored jerseys
3 sets of Lidl sponsored jerseys
4 sets of Lidl sponsored jerseys
5 sets of Lidl sponsored jerseys
€3,000 cash funding
€4,000 cash funding
€5,000 cash funding