A CLYDEBANK schoolgirl who was won multiple medals has spoken out about how important it is for girls to be active and involved in sport.

Freya Smith, aged 12, is a keen swimmer and a member of West Dunbartonshire Amateur Swim Club as well as the 6th Clydebank Guides.

Charity, Girlguiding Scotland, has revealed that only two per cent of girls aged 7-25 said “sports” was the best thing about being a girl.

This finding comes from the Girls in Scotland survey, which captured the views of more than 500 on what it’s like growing up as a girl today.

The results were revealed ahead of Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week 2019 last week, and Girlguiding is encouraging girls and young women to take part in sport.

Clydebank High pupil Freya said: “I think it’s important to get active at this age because you’re going through a lot of change in your life - physically and mentally, with things like moving onto high school.

“It’s a great time to find a sport you love because it will help you make great friendships, keeps you fit and healthy and being active makes you feel great.

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“Finding a sport that you love can also help if you are feeling anxious or worried because you can get away from your worries and just enjoy doing something you love with friends who all enjoy the same thing.

“But we need greater coverage of women’s sport to encourage girls and young women to take part in sport and exercise.

“By showing girls that sport is for them and giving them opportunities to get involved, more girls and young women will have the confidence to pick up a racquet, jump on their bike or boot a ball across a pitch.”

The Girlguiding programme meant updating both its iconic badges girls work towards being rewarded, as well as its activities to reflect the changing interests of girls in the 21st century.

Girls of all ages can work towards badges which encourage them to be active, learning new skills including sports, agility, fitness and dancing.

Their survey also revealed that as girls get older they are less likely to take part in sport.

A total of 91 per cent of girls aged 7-11 said they play sport or exercise at least once a week but that number dropped to 53 per cent for those aged 18-25.

And factors that girls said stopped them from taking part in sports included a lack of facilities and how girls are treated when playing sport or exercising.

Earlier this year, Girlguiding launched a major new manifesto for girl-led change as 76,000 girls and young women involved shared their vision for the future, including the hope that women’s sport is treated equally to men’s sport.

For more information about how to get involved with Girlguiding Scotland, visit girlguidingscotland.org.uk/