Thursday, 10 August 2017

Health campaigns that are here to help

#oursquad #sgwadni #thisgirlcan TeamUp ActiveGirls Us Girls RFU
#OurSquad - getting fit in Wales
Women's sport is having a moment. England's female team have just won the Cricket World Cup and female rugby and football teams are finally getting some of the media attention they deserve. Just a year ago UK women picked up medals for sports as diverse as hockey, triathlon, boxing, athletics, sailing and taekwondo at the Rio Olympics. But it's not just our top athletes that are getting all the attention - there's increasing support to be found for the average girl and woman that wants to get and stay active in both individual and team sports.

Take a look at these initiatives designed to help you get you off that sofa and into some sweats, whoever and wherever you are. Which one is your perfect match?

Real women

Arguably the best-known media sports campaign, This Girl Can is billed as 'a celebration of active women who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets'. Funded by The National Lottery and developed by Sport England, it aims to help women and girls overcome the fear of judgement that is stopping many from joining in a multitude of activities. The ads and images focus on 'normal' females enjoying themselves as they work out and is about as far away as you can get from the photoshopped pictures of perfection we are used to seeing in glossy mags and commercial retail ads. It's there to encourage and support - not to preach or guilt-trip.

#oursquad #sgwadni #thisgirlcan TeamUp ActiveGirls Us Girls RFU
- a celebration of active women 
The newest kid on the block is Our Squad, a campaign aimed at uniting women's and girl’s projects across Wales designed to champion and celebrate active women and girls, while creating a network to empower others who want to get active and busting the myth that you have to be sporty to be physically active. The campaign comes on the back of research that showed girls at school-leaver age and women between the ages of 30 and 45 are less likely to be active. And even less likely to take part in physical activity are women from deprived communities, those with a disability and those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Getting the girls 

The national agency for sport in Scotland, sportscotland, also has a specific campaign called Active Girls. It's designed to increase girls and young women’s participation in PE, sport and physical activity. It includes initiatives such as Fit For Girls, YDance and Girls on the move, which are all designed to promote physical activity among girls and young women. The Active Girls campaign also runs an annual Active Girls Day (this year's is on Friday 6 October 2017) where schools, clubs and hubs are encouraged to focus on opportunities for girls participation.

Us Girls is an award-winning programme run by the StreetGames charity - which aims to make sport more widely available for disadvantaged young people. The Us Girls brand is designed to increase and sustain young women's participation in sport and physical activity within some of the nation’s most disadvantaged communities. Kicking off in 2011 (see what I did there...), Us Girls aimed to get 30,000 young females (aged 16-25 years) more active by providing them with fitness and sport opportunities within their local community within two years.

#oursquad #sgwadni #thisgirlcan TeamUp ActiveGirls Us Girls RFU
Try a Warrior Camp with RFU

Be a team player

Sports-specific campaigns are also on the agenda. Meet Your Inner Warrior was launched in 2014 by The Rugby Football Union, the national governing body for grassroots and elite rugby in England. The campaign aimed to encourage more women and girls to take up contact rugby, and included 100 ‘Warrior Camps’ that ran across the country last January, offering fun rugby taster sessions for women who want to try out the sport before joining their local club.

Captialising on the fact that between 2017 and 2019 England will host three consecutive women's World Cups, the England & Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey and England Netball launched TeamUp last year. This three-year initiative plans to maximise the legacy of the World Cups and build a broader fan base for women's team sports.

With this much backing, it's great to see more real women on the frontline getting fit. Why not get involved too?


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