Get active across the county in This Girl Can week

Lifestyle / Sat 24th Oct 2015 at 02:19pm


ACTIVE Essex is championing the national campaign of ‘This Girl Can’ across Essex this week.

A programme, established in 2011 called the SHE programme was set up to address concerns over fewer females taking part in sport. The programme has touched the lives of over 1,500 woman and girls in some of Essex’s most deprived areas. Here is the story of one woman Helen:

Helen Halley, 53, from Southend said: “The classes have not only helped me to lose weight they turned my life around; I’ve tried new things, gained confidence I was severely lacking before and lost almost 100lbs. I’ve gone from a dress size of 22 to a size12.
“Previously I was scared of the gym, suffering from back pain and overweight. I heard about the classes from a friend on facebook and decided to give it a go, I haven’t looked back.

“I’ve tried things that are completely out of my comfort zone and even had a go at netball which I haven’t done since I was at school. Friends have noticed the difference in me, I no longer shy away in social situations, I’ve made so many new friends in the classes and have a new zest for life.

“I’ve now started bringing my 70 year old mother Silvia along; she’s recovering from a hip replacement but shows that anyone can start getting more active. I’ve gone from no exercise to doing zumba, boxercise and bums and tums classes each week and couldn’t be happier.

“I would tell every woman who felt like me to just do it, the classes mean you wont be alone.”

Sarah Potts, from Active Life is one of the facilitators to the SHE sessions set up across Southend, said: “The sessions are a great way of getting women active but most importantly having fun and to feel fantastic!

“The demand for the sessions is growing and we have seen the impact on the participants self-esteem and confidence. We have a great team of inspiring Tutors and also volunteers who have been upskilled to deliver some of the sessions.”

The sessions are provided free of charge and are delivered in a community setting such as children’s centres, churches and village halls. “This helps the women to feel more confident to attend the sessions. The programme has been an amazing success and we are showing that Southend Women are Living, Loving it and Moving it!” Said Sarah.

Active Essex wants to encourage and inspire woman and girls to get active regardless of their shape, size and ability during a week long campaign from 26 October. The This Girl Can in Essex week is specifically for woman in support of Sport England’s national This Girl Can campaign.

Cllr Jo Beavis, Cabinet Member for health and communities at Braintree Council and Board member of Active Essex, said: ‘We want our This Girl Can week to help woman overcome the perceived obstacles for participating in sport. We want to boost women’s confidence, encourage them try new sports and embrace the positive benefits of exercise.”

To take part in This Girl Can Week in Essex visit
www.activeessex.org/thisgirlcan to find activities and events near you. Remember to #ThisGirlCan on social media to share and encourage family and friends to join the fun.
If you’d like to start some physical activity sessions in your local area funding is still available through the SHE programme, apply here http://www.activeessex.org/Get-Active/active-women/women-and-girls-community-funding-

For more information about the national This Girl Can campaign and tips on how to get active and join the national debate visit www.thisgirlcan.co.uk .

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