A commercial by personal care brand DOVE aired during Super Bowl LVlll on Monday morning Australian time and featured an important message concerning boosting self-esteem in young athletes and participation rates for girls in sports.
The short 30 second clip, expected to be viewed by more than 100 million people, shows a series of clips of young female athletes trying different sports such as skating, gymnastics, soccer and basketball.
The girls slip over, fall down or get knocked down while the Broadway classic 'Hard Knock Life' plays over.
The read over informs us that 'The knocks don't stop girls playing sports low body confidence does.'
Teenage girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys with body confidence identified as the biggest driver
45 per cent of girls quit sports by age 14.
The call to action of the commercial is to join DOVE's body confident sport program.
Peter Murphy heads up the NSW Rugby charitable and social impact arm, the positive rugby foundation, which uses rugby as a vehicle to address social needs and issues within communities.
"Effectively we use rugby to address these kinds of social issues," Mr Murphy said.
"Our girls' programs are unique in addressing social needs such as body confidence issues, body image, body size, health and wellbeing of our rugby community particularly females, diversity inclusion, getting more girls playing the game of rugby an making sure it's a safe and inclusive game for all."
Mr Murphy said the game of rugby takes all shapes and sizes.
"Rugby is the game for all, you can be any size and play our game, there is a position for you so from the point of view of body image which is something we go to great lengths to address as a social and developmental issue, rugby is ideal, takes all sizes and promotes healthy development for our girls.
"It's important to keep our girls' playing sports.
"In general, they might be taught how to catch and pass, those skills are a given but what we are doing at the positive rugby foundation is looking at all those secondary areas such as mental health, social well being, making sure they're wearing the right sports bra, making sure we're looking after their diet, their menstrual programs, their social well-being, all of these things are being addressed through our positive rugby foundation," Mr Murphy said.
Of late, a golden age of women's sport in Australia has been building momentum unlike any other time in history.
The success of the Matildas at the 2023 Football World Cup sent the country into an absolute frenzy.
In 2022, tennis ace Ash Barty was the first Australian player to take out the Australian Open women's singles title in 44 years.
Hannah Green in golf, Sally Fitzgibbons in surfing, Tayla Harris in AFL, the Diamonds Netball team who won the World Cup in 2023, their 11th championship since 1963.
All of these amazing, positive role models and sports heroes to look up to for young girls and yet, girls are instead choosing to walk away for good effectively losing out on the multitude of physical, social and emotional benefits sports can bring.
A landmark report in 2019 conducted as part of the Suncorp TeamGirls initiative, identified the group most likely to quit sport for good are 15-17 year old girls, with the main reasons for giving up because they think they are "not good at sport" or they have "too much schoolwork".
The results highlight the importance of teen self-esteem and confidence, with half of parents surveyed admitting they are concerned about their daughters' self-perception.
The report seems in contrast to the increased participation numbers that have been reported across a multitude of sporting codes in Australia, especially the rising popularity of the NRLW and AFLW, and what appears to be a surge of interest in grassroots level football for girls after the Matilda's heroics.
Nonetheless, more attention needs to be placed on keeping girls in sport beyond their teenage years, as the research draws a direct link for girls of all ages between being confident and achieving success in a range of life dimensions, including their work and social lives.