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Adam Mannasseh
Adam Mannasseh

Charming Models


Charming Models

Girls reported that fun taster sessions delivered by role models would encourage them to participate in a school-based role model programme, with tailored taster sessions each week to enhance continued PA participation. Parents and teachers identified a number of barriers to uptake and continued PA participation, and active involvement of stakeholders facilitated the development of intervention strategies. Strategies included; single-sex after-school sessions, use of female role models, low-cost activity options and mapping community provision. Analyses revealed the importance of tailoring the programme to align with local needs, demands and provision.

With a specific focus on increasing PA amongst girls, research has shown the importance of providing a wide range of appealing activities [22], providing girl-only sessions [23, 24] and underpinning an intervention framework with theory [15]. Recognising the importance of motivation for the long-term adoption of a behaviour [25], many interventions focus on attempts to promote action by converting motivation into action [26]. Such motivation can come from observing positive results in others and it has been suggested that role models can provide inspiration for young people to become involved in, or maintain involvement in, sport and PA [27]. The World Health Organisation (WHO) specifically recommends the use of role models within local communities to increase PA among females [28]. These recommendations also highlight the importance of ensuring sustainable engagement in PA through the development of school and community links. Interventions linking the school and wider community have shown to be effective in sustaining changes in PA levels among adolescents [11, 29], which ultimately requires effective partnership working within communities. That said, previous studies exploring perceptions of PA role models or school-based intervention designs are limited to adolescent populations and are manly US-based. There is a need therefore to design and implement preventative strategies to help evade the age-related decline in PA that is characteristic of adolescent girls.

Providing girls with active role models and links to existing community activities could positively influence girls PA levels before the anticipated decline in adolescence. This paper reports the results of formative research to inform the development and design of a school-based PA role model programme. The theoretical framework for the intervention design integrates SDT and the socio-ecological model. Gathering child, parent, teacher and wider stakeholder perspectives, we set out to: i) seek input on programme structure, content and delivery; ii) identify barriers and facilitators to intervention uptake and continued PA participation; and iii) use these data to subsequently inform the design of the first UK-based tailored PA intervention programme, CHARMING (CHoosing Active Role Models to INspire Girls), with the production of a logic model.

A series of face-to-face stakeholder meetings took place throughout the intervention design period involving school-, local authority-, policy- and national governing representatives. Initial meetings provided an opportunity to introduce the study aims and scope current PA initiatives within schools and local areas. Between meetings, communications were maintained via email correspondence. Following the preliminary analyses of focus group and interview data, stakeholders were invited to attend a workshop with discussions centred on: sourcing role models, identifying existing community clubs and activities and avenues for disseminating information on community PA provision.

Within the urban school, the head teacher identified the role models delivering the session as a potential barrier and discussed the possible implications of role models entering the school without an awareness of religious practices or an existing relationship with parents. The head te


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