“Be inspired. Be the change,” was the theme of the new Girls Active Coaches Camp I was privileged to be part of last weekend.
120 girls from every corner of the country; from Newcastle to Nottingham, were brought together to develop lifelong leadership skills but more importantly - friendships.
It is these new networks which will give the girls the connections and inspiration they need to go back into their schools and communities to change the status quo and get more girls active and actually enjoying sport.
The camp challenged the girls; it took them out of their comfort zone. It had them getting up on stage in front of a room full of strangers throwing water balloons with professional Tennis coach, Judy Murray. It helped them to grow.
One Girls Active Coach reflected:
I’m realising that its mind over matter. The only person stopping me from achieving anything I want to is me. I’m going to go back to my school and help some of the other girls to see that too.
The girls shared their hopes and fears for the weekend. “Worried I come across as too confident,” is one Post It Note which has stuck with me. It is programmes like Girls Active which are empowering girls to be loud and proud about who they are and what they have to offer.
I’m excited to see the impact this coaching camp and these girls have on the shocking statistics around girls’ activity levels - only 8% of 11-18 years olds are currently meeting recommended physical activity guidelines.
The Girls Active Coaches Camp is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with This Girl Can, Loughborough University, with support from Women in Sport and a host of National Governing Bodies. It is funded by Sport England National Lottery funding.