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This Girl Can! (But if you need a bit of a nudge, we’re here to help)

13th March 2015

Have you seen Sport England’s new campaign to get more women taking part in sport and exercise? It’s called This Girl Can, and we love its attitude:

This Girl Can celebrates the women who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get. They’re here to inspire us to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.

Research shows that two million fewer women than men in the 14-40 age range regularly participate in sport or exercise – and that, for many women, it’s the fear of being judged by others that puts them off.

This Girl Can keyrings

These girls can! Gateway staff show off their This Girl Can keyrings

Sport England CEO Jennie Price, said: “Before we began this campaign, we looked very carefully at what women were saying about why they felt sport and exercise was not for them.

“Some of the issues, like time and cost, were familiar, but one of the strongest themes was a fear of judgement. Worries about being judged for being the wrong size, not fit enough and not skilled enough came up time and again.

“In This Girl Can we want to tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport. They come in all shapes and sizes and all levels of ability. They have a myriad of reasons for doing what they do.

“If you are wondering if you should join them – or carry on – this campaign says it really doesn’t matter if you are a bit rubbish or completely brilliant, the main thing is that you are a woman and you are doing something, and that deserves to be celebrated.”

We love this campaign. It fits in perfectly with our ethos here at Gateway. It doesn’t matter what you look like or from what position you’re starting, as long as you just do something!

Sport England’s research shows that 75% of women would like to do more, and this is reflected in our client base. So we provide the extra motivation of one-to-one support, whether that’s in person or over the phone, to encourage and boost people’s confidence. Because, as we know, increased confidence usually leads to increased activity.

Starting small, thinking big

One of the things our Health Trainers help people to understand is that exercise takes many forms, and you don’t have to be a “sporty person” to make a start. Most people begin with light exercise at home, or by walking a small amount every day. Some buy a bike (or borrow one from us) and some go swimming or running.

Some need the support of a group. There are a huge amount of classes and groups available now, including those – like Zumba, or Drum n Bounce – that are more like going clubbing than going to the gym! We can even offer group activity for people with mobility problems, or those waiting for or recovering from surgery, since staff have been trained in Extend.

Unsurprisingly, the clients who have started doing exercise – in whatever form they have chosen – tell us they feel loads better for it.

Elisabeth told us:

I wasn’t active at all before I started seeing my health trainer, but now I try to fit in one hour of exercise each day, either a walk, a swim or Tai Chi in the park. This has helped me to lose weight, along with some small changes I have made with my diet. I’m feeling much better as I have more energy.

And Sally said:

My first month was hard but I’m pleased I did what was asked of me. I’ve lost 4 lbs in weight so far! My Health trainer Wayne’s as excited as I was. Thanks for the confidence boost – I needed it.

Watch the This Girl Can video below. We hope it inspires you to get out and jiggle!

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