Good Causes

Bringing Daughters and Dads closer together

When Mark Ericson took part in a Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered Programme (DADs) his children saw him in a new light.

Mark's six-year-old daughter Olive, said, “I learned that Daddy can run faster than I thought he could.”

Like many fathers, Mark sometimes struggles to find the time to be active with Olive and 11-year-old Emily.

That's why DADs – a National Lottery-funded project designed to help fathers/father-figures and their girls have fun together – is so vital.

Each DADs session lasts 90 minutes and aims to teach girls aged 5-11 sports skills through fun games and physical activities, and educates dads about positive role-modelling and parenting strategies. The session also challenges existing gender stereotypes about playing sport and physical activity.

Mark said, "DADs was really good fun, I loved it. We all came back dirty and tired, but really happy and always smiling.

“It was different for my daughters to see me doing different activities, in a different mood, in a new light – and same with them. I know I see them running around, but this time I was running with them – or after them, or them after me!”

Mark's wife Stephanie was also impressed. She said, “They were teasing each other. They were so happy to joke around. It was lovely. I loved it, because for many years it was just me with the girls and my husband always stuck with work. It was so nice for them to do something together.”

With the country under restrictions because of coronavirus, family interaction and relationships are at the forefront of day-to-day activity. Mark explains he has learnt that you can have fun with kids without much equipment or planning in order to keep them active. He said, “I’ve learned that you can create a game out of nothing; you can still create a game out of stones and sticks. You don’t really need to organise, you don’t need that much.”

The Daughters and Dads project is run by Women in Sport in the UK. You can find out more by visiting the Women in Sport website.

18th June 2020

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