GOOD sports at a Portland school jumped at the chance to design their own PE kit.

Research shows that almost half of 16-year-old girls make up excuses to get out of PE lessons.

To tackle the problem, girls from the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) got sewn up in designing new kits.

They teamed up with Virgin Active, the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) and designer Lexie Sport.

The winning design was created by 13-year-old pupil Emily Marshall.

She said: “I enjoy exercise and know it is good for me but sometimes school PE kit made me feel very self-conscious.

“It was really exciting to have the opportunity to design my perfect PE kit. I hope that schools look at the findings of our work to encourage more girls to live active lifestyles.”

Her work, pictured right, is already set to make a difference, as principal of IPACA Alison Appleyard is committing to consulting with parents ahead of instituting plans to change the school PE kit.

Youth inactivity is a major problem in the UK, particularly among girls.

Four-in-ten 16-year-old girls never take any strenuous activity in school.

But research shows that simply changing the standard school PE kit could have a major impact in boosting participation in physical activity.

Rob Russell, head of campus at IPACA, said: “The new PE kit looks great.

“I’m proud of our pupils for not only creating these designs, but also for sharing their insight on how PE kit can be a barrier preventing young girls taking part in sport.

“In consultation with parents, we will be looking to amend our uniform rules over the coming months to allow pupils more freedom of choice over their PE kit.”

Emily’s designs have been a hit with the rest of the class, with girls saying they feel ‘more comfortable’ and ‘confident.’