Free sports taster sessions and a range of great prizes and vouchers are just some of the ways Plymouth is supporting a campaign to encourage women and girls to take part in sport and physical activity.
This Girl Can is back for 2017, backed by Sport England and the National Lottery. Locally the campaign is being supported by Plymouth City Council’s Sports Development Unit and Active Devon working with a range of local sports clubs. This Girl Can first launched in 2015 and was a resounding success, with 2.8 million women nationally being inspired to be more physically active, with the new campaign hitting TV screens on Friday 24 February 2017.
Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture for Plymouth City Council said: “We are really happy to be working with local and national partners to support This Girl Can in Plymouth.
“There really is something for everyone. More than 50 different free sport and activity taster sessions in Plymouth will include boxing, yoga, cheerleading, body conditioning and running to Cheezifit.
“As an added incentive our Sports Development Unit has also secured some great prizes to encourage women and girls to sign up to the campaign, with prizes including a Morning of Luxury for three at the new Gaia Spa, climbing for four at High Sports Plymouth and a £50 high street shopping voucher. Existing participants can also get involved with the campaign by bringing a friend which will entitle them to a free prize draw entry.”
Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care for Plymouth City Council, said: “Through our Thrive Plymouth ten year public health programme we are committed to improving health and reducing health inequalities in Plymouth and we fully support anything that encourages people to take up a more active lifestyle. The free taster sessions are a great way for people to find out what sports they enjoy. They say don’t knock it til you’ve tried it – so why not give it a go?”
“This Girl Can has made a real difference since it launched,” said Sport England chief Jennie Price. “But there’s a lot more to do. The gender gap still exists.”
“Most women still feel judged when they play sport or exercise,” added Price.
“We feel guilty for stopping and starting, for hesitating, for not looking perfect. The women and girls in this campaign remind us that’s normal and create some strong images that we hope millions of women will relate to.”
Sport England cites a total of 7.2 million women and girls being engaged in regular physical activity in the UK – an all-time high – and it is hoped that number will rise further with a campaign focusing on issues that still prevent many from making the step to a healthier lifestyle.
One of the local This Girl Can ambassadors is Maddy Doyle, 40, from Plymouth. Maddy has always been sporty, however seven years ago she was diagnosed with MS. She was determined to keep her fitness up and sought out new sports to keep her healthy and raise money and awareness for the MS society.
Maddy’s advice to encourage other women to get active is “keep going and keep your happy thoughts flowing!”
Information about all of the sessions can be found on our Facebook page @sportplymouth alternatively you can contact the Sports Development Unit directly on ThisGirlCan@plymouth.gov.uk or call 01752 307008.
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