The LEGO Group joins forces with female footballers to teach young girls the power of resilience

  • Toy brand is joined by top sports psychologist to launch unique Play Workshops and an online content series
  • Sign-ups for unique resilience building workshops in partnership with Arsenal Women, Aston Villa WFC and Chelsea FC Women open today at www.lego.com/en-gb/play-unstoppable/unstoppable-fc
  • Campaign launches as research reveals parents of girls cite resilience and determination as amongst the top qualities exhibited by today’s most inspirational women
  • Initiative forms part of the LEGO Group’s ‘Unstoppable FC’ programme designed to empower young girls to break down barriers to play, created in partnership with stars of women’s football Lauren Hemp, Rachel Daly, Sam Kerr and Beth Mead

The LEGO Group UK is on a mission to teach young girls how to recover from setbacks in order to help them achieve their full potential, both on and off the pitch. The toy brand’s unique ‘Unstoppable FC’ programme offers a variety of opportunities for young girls up and down the country to build resilience and confidence skills.

As part of the programme, the LEGO Group will be hosting a series of Play Workshops with three Women’s Super League teams. Workshops will take place at Arsenal Women (15th of September), Aston Villa WFC (14th of September) and Chelsea FC Women (12th of September) and have been specially designed to teach girls aged 8-11 years ‘Buildbackability,’ the art of bouncing back after setbacks. Play Workshops will feature a series of fun football drills and LEGO build challenges and girls will also get the chance to meet top female footballers like Beth Mead, Sam Kerr and Rachel Daly, who will be attending the workshops at their respective clubs.

Sign-ups for Play Workshops open today and parents can visit www.lego.com/en-gb/play-unstoppable/unstoppable-fc to find out more and get their daughters involved. Spaces at Play Workshops will be allocated on a first come first serve basis and parents have until 7th September to sign up.

On the Unstoppable FC website parents can also access content featuring Lauren Hemp and Beth Mead sharing their stories of resilience, designed to inspire young girls to succeed, plus tips on how to build resilience skills at home from top sports psychologist Dr Josephine Perry.

The campaign launches as research reveals parents of girls cite resilience and determination as amongst the top qualities exhibited by today’s most inspirational women. 54% of those surveyed cited resilience as a key quality, with determination (65%), passion (62%) and compassion (54%) also deemed crucial. Research also revealed 63% of parents polled said they wished they had been taught how to be more resilient when they were younger, while 63% said they believed their daughters needed to be resilience in order to be successful in the modern world.

When it comes to today’s most resilient, determined and inspiring women, new research reveals parents see Michele Obama as the best role model for young girls (34%), followed by actress Emma Watson, (29%) and Nobel prize winning scientist Marie Curie (29%). Sports stars including Serena Williams (27%), England striker Beth Mead (10%) and fellow Lioness Lauren Hemp (5%) also made the list, alongside activists Rosa Parks (23%), Emmeline Pankhurst (13%) and Malala Yousafzai (10%).

Dr Josephine Perry, Sports Psychologist, says: “Educating girls to treat failure as a learning experience and bounce back from setbacks is crucial to helping them tackle life challenges. I’m thrilled to be partnering with the LEGO Group to teach young girls the art of Buildbackability, or in other words how to build yourself up after being knocked back.”

Isabel Graham, Head of Marketing at the LEGO Group, says: “We’re excited to be offering a number of different ways to help young girls build their resilience through our ‘Unstoppable FC’ programme. At the LEGO Group we’re committed to breaking down barriers to play, and our research shows learning to recover from setbacks is key to helping children achieve their potential.”

Research also revealed almost a quarter (23%) of parents worry their daughter is being held back from achieving her full potential by a fear of failure. Yet despite this, 89% said their daughter is more ambitious than they were at the same age, while a resounding 96% feel their daughter has the potential to break down barriers that they were unable to overcome.

The survey revealed 73% of those polled said watching the Lionesses this year had been a massive inspiration to their daughter, with over half (54%) saying their daughter now regularly plays football.

Activity forms part of the LEGO Group’s global ‘Play Unstoppable’ initiative launched in May that aims to challenge stereotypes around play and creative building, and encourage girls to unlock the freedom they need to play without boundaries.

Resilience tips from Dr Josephine Perry

Bottle their confidence

Confidence is an essential part of cultivating resilience and helping children handle setbacks. Creating a confidence jar at home can be a great way of building this. Ask your child to write down achievements and things they’re proud of as they happen, and store them in the jar to review when things get tough. This will help remind them of what they’re capable of when they need it the most!

Make the comeback bigger than the setback

It’s important to coach children to see failure as an opportunity for growth, a time to learn from their mistakes and come out the stronger for them. Work with them to conduct an ABC analysis when things don’t quite go to plan. After a setback ask them to think of an Action they want to work on off the back of it, something in hindsight they could have done Better and something they will Change in future.

Focus on progress

Key to getting children through a setback is helping them adopt a progress focused mindset. Instead of getting bogged down in the day to day of what has gone wrong, make sure you’re always bringing them back to the bigger picture. For example, if they’re down about not performing their best, remind them of how much progress they’ve made in the past year (this will help them see setbacks as temporary, and encourage them to try and try again.)

If they can see it, they can be it

Remember that your children are always watching and learning from you, including how you handle setbacks and failures. Keep this in mind and make sure they see you demonstrating a resilient mentality in the face of life’s challenges. You can also help them by pointing out how their heroes and role models deal with setbacks, think their favourite footballer who scored a hat-trick after a season on the bench or a singer who beat adversity to achieve a number one hit

Practice makes progress

If you want to teach your child to deal with setbacks, lose the word ‘perfect’ from your vocabulary. Praising things as ‘perfect’ can reiterate the idea that something is only worth doing if it’s done perfectly, which can put children off trying new things. Focus on what they’ve learnt, rather than how perfect the results are, and make sure their best efforts are praised along the way.