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Council launches new fitness drive to encourage more women to get physically active

March 6, 2018

In a climate in which women around the globe are taking a stance, no longer prepared to let their voices be silenced, it’s time to shout: ‘This Girl Can’.

As part of the national This Girl Can campaign funded by The National Lottery and developed by Sport England, Eastleigh Borough Council has launched This Girl Can Eastleigh, a celebration of active women doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how much their body jiggles in the process.

Launching on Thursday, March 8, to coincide with International Women’s Day, This Girl Can Eastleigh aims to help women to overcome the barriers that may be blocking them from participating in exercise; Feelings of self-doubt and insecurity, a fear of being ridiculed or judged, just some of the reasons women often find it difficult to embark on a journey to a more healthy and active lifestyle.

Free taster sessions in a host of different sports and activities and beginner activity courses are just a couple of the ways This Girl Can Eastleigh plans to get more women active.

This Girl Can Eastleigh says whatever your size, ability or previous experience, sport and exercise can be a fun and an enjoyable part of every woman’s life. To showcase what’s achievable This Girl Can Eastleigh has recruited a handful of fitness champions, ordinary women who in the past year have changed their lives through exercise, which it is hoped will inspire other women in Eastleigh to get out there and get involved in more physical activity.

One of the champions, Sarah Floyd, knew she needed to take control of her life. The 42-year-old from Hedge End was unfit and struggling with her weight. A year ago, she joined a Couch to 5K group, part of Eastleigh Borough Council’s drive to encourage more adults to lead a healthy active lifestyle. She hasn’t looked back. She has dropped five dress sizes but critically her health and wellbeing have dramatically improved.

Her message to women who feel that exercise isn’t for them or that they are too self-conscious to join a class:

‘Just do it! I never thought I could run but by joining a local Couch to 5km group – I persevered and dug deep to find a determination I didn’t know I had. Having the support of a group and having someone to believe in you is key.

‘It really has changed my life – I now look forward to a run and the energy rush it gives is fab!’

The This Girl Can Eastleigh campaign builds on Eastleigh Borough Council’s Eastleigh Activation Programme (also known as HealthWorks and/or SportWorks), an ongoing physical activity project that aims to get more adults in the area leading a healthy active lifestyle.

Eastleigh Borough Council’s cabinet member for Health and Community Safety Cllr Tonia Craig said:

‘This Girl Can Eastleigh is about inspiring and encouraging women to get active whether it’s trying a new activity or going back to a sport after a time away from it.

‘Beginner activity courses, free taster sessions in a number of different sports from walking netball and weightlifting to yoga and boxercise there are lots of opportunities for women of all ages and ability to get involved, get active and have fun in the process.

‘As well as the health benefits associated with taking part in exercise there is also a social side. For many women this can help build confidence and generally improve their mental and physical wellbeing. This Girl Can Eastleigh is about empowering women, giving them the opportunity to take control.’


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