by Kate Dale
This Girl Can lead, Sport England
As This Girl Can Week draws to a close, I hope that you’ve been able to take some time to choose you. The week has been a celebration of movement - whatever that might look or feel like.
As we all know, in the wake of the pandemic, staying active and feeling strong is more important than ever. But our research found that women were struggling to get back to their activity habits, and to make the time to get active for themselves.
This Girl Can Week was designed as a response to this research. We wanted to show women that it doesn’t matter what you do or why – it’s the doing that counts.
Through the campaign, we’ve seen women playing football on Hackney Marshes, dancing in the kitchen, getting together to play walking netball and plodding through the rain.
Personally, I went running for the first time in a month and remembered that, even on one of the hottest days of the year, the hardest part is getting out of the front door. But when I was out, I felt magnificent.
I also returned to my dance class for the first time in 15 months. I still have more enthusiasm than ability – but the joy of being back and learning new routines with friends I hadn’t seen since last year, was glorious.
We’ve been backed by a host of strong and inspirational women, who all move in a way that works for them – like Strictly dancer Karen Hauer, the journalist Poorna Bell, and Clemmie Telford.
And we’re putting money where our mouth is too, to support more women to get active. Women and girls are one of three top priorities of our Return To Play Small Grants fund.
We’ve got lots more planned for This Girl Can this year. So, whether you’re rediscovering how getting active makes you feel or finding your movement for the first time, we’d love to hear your stories and ideas. Simply tweet or post using the #ThisGirlCan hashtag.