Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox
You know the sassy Sport England campaign #ThisGirlCan? Real, strong women, sweating and wobbling and not giving a damn what anyone thinks. Using images the complete opposite of the idealised and stylised and pasteurised pics we are used to benchmarking ourselves, the campaign aims to empower women and encourage them to become more active.Tuesday 8 March is not only Mr MC birthday (and parents evening), its also International Women’s Day and the first ever Cornwall Sports Partnership #ThisGirlCan Cornwall games, raising money for Sport Relief.
Cornwall Sports Partnership want to encourage more women and girls to get active here in Cornwall and what better reason to dust off those trainers than to raise money for Sport Relief?
Sign up as an individual (£5) or team of four (£20) for a fun packed activity evening. You can expect hockey, target shooting, badminton, relay races and target throws. Each activity will last for a maximum of 5 minutes – circuit training stylee, with all of the teams rotating the activities and finishing with a relay race.
All money raised will go to Sport Relief which supports women and girls in need, both in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities. They would prefer you to register for the games, so they have an idea of numbers, but no one will be turned away.
In addition to the games, participating leisure centres in Cornwall are putting on free or reduced rate events for women for International Women’s Day:
Penzance Leisure Centre are offering free swimming, gym sessions and gym inductions. They are also offering a gym membership deal where you pay nothing on any new membership until April 2016. Carn Brea Leisure Centre are offering a free Zumba class and West Coast Academy are offering a free cheer class.
I’m dead excited about this collaboration. Research shows millions of women and girls are afraid to exercise because of fear of judgement: on appearance, performance, ability or for simply spending time on themselves – something I have experienced.
A good few years ago, someone recommended exercise to relieve stress. I soon got the bug, and sport became my private therapy. Life became exhilarating again. But once the physical benefits began to show, so did the callouts – you’re at the gym? Again? Those around me assumed it was vanity that spurred me on. Then the guilt – I should be spending time with my kids, not on myself. So I stopped going. For years. Then I saw the #ThisGirlCan ad. It inspired me to get back into running – no gym yet, maybe I never will – and I’m really slow, but this time around, I don’t care what people think. I know I’m a happier person when I can get out and blow the cobwebs away. I no longer exercise alone either. I’m out with the fam, on some crazy walk Mr MC has found, or splashing about in the sea with the mudlets. I no longer see exercise as a selfish thing.
And I’m not alone. So far an estimated 2.8million 14-40 year olds are more active as a result of the #ThisGirlCan campaign.
Do go along on Tuesday – or to one of the participating leisure centres. Remember, every red face counts. What are you waiting for? Jog on!
Tue 8 Mar, Truro Leisure Centre, College Way, Truro TR1 3GA 01872 261628
Penzance Leisure Centre, St Clare, Penzance TR18 3QW 01736874 744
Carnbrea Leisure Centre, Station Road, Pool, Redruth TR15 3QS 01209 714766
West Coast Academy, Treleigh Industrial Estate, jon Davey Drive, Redruth TR16 4AX 01209 204224