The DADEE program, ‘Dads and Daughters Exercising and Empowered’, targets fathers to be active role models for their daughters. The program evolved from the notion that the female experience of sport is vastly different. It looks at this experience through a gendered lens and equips daughters and fathers with skills to tackle gender inequality. By engaging fathers as positive lifestyle role models, the program seeks to improve physical activity behaviours, confidence and social-emotional wellbeing.
A father can be his daughter’s greatest ally.
The relationship between father and daughter is hugely important, and the DADEE program acknowledges that fathers can be influential in their child’s development. The program works to support fathers to be positive lifestyle role models for their daughters and to build confidence within their daughter’s approach to physical activity. We know that moving more improves physical, social and mental wellbeing, yet trends demonstrate that women face more barriers to physical activity than men.
Historically, men have dominated the sporting arena, and today there is still inequity in pay, press and support. The game has only recently started to change with sporting events like Women’s AFL and the Women’s Big Bash League becoming hugely popular events. While this shift in the value of women in sport signifies an important step forward, the tide has not turned yet, and from a young age, the message that sport is a man’s world is still impressed upon girls.
The education sessions for fathers focus on using proven parenting strategies to improve their daughters’ social-emotional wellbeing, sports skills and physical activity levels.
Evidence demonstrates that fathers who engage actively with their daughters’ impact on a host of important physical and mental health outcomes; improving cognitive ability, self-esteem, social skills, resilience, and educational outcomes.
For daughters’, the sessions look at developing key social and emotional skills including; persistence, critical thinking and resilience.
Daughters learn how to design movement sessions at home and how to become ‘personal trainers’ to motivate their dad to stay active. During the program, dads learn evidence-based parenting skills and strategies to emotionally connect with their daughters. The program engages fathers and daughters in fun physical activities, equipping both parties with the skills to lead a healthy, confident life.