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This Girl Can: ‘She gave me the confidence to get active in my own way’

PUBLISHED: 09:30 26 September 2020

The This Girl Can movement has supported nearly three million women to participate in sport and exercise   Picture: This Girl Can Campaign

The This Girl Can movement has supported nearly three million women to participate in sport and exercise Picture: This Girl Can Campaign

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It’s the final two days of The Great British Week of Sport and today we’re celebrating Suffolk’s This Girl Can ambassadors and highlighting OneLife Suffolk as it prepares to relaunch the Suffolk Health Walks programme.

The This Girl Can movement has supported nearly three million women to participate in sport and exercise   Picture: This Girl Can CampaignThe This Girl Can movement has supported nearly three million women to participate in sport and exercise Picture: This Girl Can Campaign

This Girl Can

This Girl Can is a national movement developed by Sport England which aims to bridge the gap between the disproportionate number of women participating in sport and physical activity compared to men. The campaign has grown tremendously over the years, supporting nearly three million women to participate in sport and exercise through celebrating active females no matter their size, background or ability.

The team at Active Suffolk has successfully recruited over 40 local This Girl Can ambassadors who work to inspire other women to be more active.

Laura Beale from the This Girl Can team at Active Suffolk said: “The This Girl Can ambassadors in Suffolk work as advocates for physical activity. They share their own experiences to inspire other females to overcome barriers to sport and exercise.

The This Girl Can movement has supported nearly three million women to participate in sport and exercise   Picture: This Girl Can CampaignThe This Girl Can movement has supported nearly three million women to participate in sport and exercise Picture: This Girl Can Campaign

“Some of our ambassadors work in the leisure sector, while others have a passion for sport and physical activity and want to share their story. The work of all of our ambassadors is powerful in helping to reassure women that no matter what obstacles they may face, they can get involved in sport and activity.” 

Charlotte Ditchburn, This Girl Can ambassador from Debenham, joined the team earlier this year and her ongoing efforts on social media to promote physical activity, while also speaking of her personal experience of post-traumatic stress disorder, has been particularly supportive during the recent lockdown.

Charlotte was nominated for an Active Suffolk Lockdown Hero award and one of the ladies who nominated her said: “Her efforts have hugely impacted my life. From feeling isolated and trapped within my own four walls, she inspired me and gave me the confidence to get active in my own way. I’ve even managed my first ever wild swim.

“I thought lockdown would ruin all my hard work to rebuild my mental state, but with a bit of inspiration from Charlotte I’ve discovered new places to get some head space and to do what I feel is achievable without comparing my progress to others.”

OneLife Suffolk has announced plans to relaunch its ‘Health Walk’ programmes   Picture: OneLife SuffolkOneLife Suffolk has announced plans to relaunch its ‘Health Walk’ programmes Picture: OneLife Suffolk

Active Suffolk is continuing to recruit new This Girl Can ambassadors who are passionate about supporting women to be active. Further information about the campaign and getting involved can be found at www.activesuffolk.org/this-girl-can

OneLife Suffolk Health Walks

OneLife Suffolk has announced plans to relaunch its ‘Health Walk’ programmes, offering free volunteer-led walks across the beautiful Suffolk landscape to suit all abilities.

Last year over 6,200 Suffolk residents took part in over 1,200 health walks across the county. This not only increased local participation in regular physical activity, but walkers have praised the growing mental and physical health benefits of taking part.

This year, the implications of the pandemic prevented the walks from taking place during lockdown, but recent regulations have given ‘outdoor physical activity events’ for up to 30 people in England the green light.

OneLife Suffolk has introduced new measures to ensure the safety of all of its walkers. This has included route checks to ensure social distancing can be adhered to on all walks, limiting the number of walkers to 15 and allowing advanced booking only to comply with the government’s test and trace guidelines.

Stephen Harper, healthy lifestyles manager (adults) at OneLife, said: “We know that many of our regular walkers and volunteers are keen to see us re-launch the Health Walks, which are not only a fantastic way to stay active but are also a beautiful way to see Suffolk and make new friends in the process.

“While we are ready to get these started as early as late September, we are closely monitoring government guidelines to ensure that we put the safety of our walkers first. We encourage residents to keep an eye on our website for the latest updates!”

You can find out more about OneLife Suffolk’s Health Walk programme at https://onelifesuffolk.co.uk/health-walks/


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