The survey of 1,000 girls aged 11 to 17 found 60 per cent believe an inspirational role model is the best way to kickstart a sporting journey.
Of those who have played football, 34 per cent said inspirational moments, like watching the progress of the Lionesses – England’s national women’s team – encouraged their participation.
And six in 10 (60 per cent) believe success for the Lionesses at the European tournament, kicking off later this week, will inspire even more girls their age to give football a go.
Tennis is also popular among girls, with more than a third (38 per cent) having played it and 27 per cent of these being inspired by Emma Raducanu’s heroics on the court.
The research was commissioned by Continental Tyres, an official partner of the England Lionesses, who get their campaign underway against Austria this Wednesday.