Sport England’s new campaign This Girl Can is encouraging more women to take up exercise. and is that rare thing – genuinely inspiring. Research conducted by the organization found that women are less likely than men to become active due to body image worries and competency. Men outpace women in activity levels by two million yet 75% of women say they want to exercise more. Jennie Price is the CEO of Sport England and said that the women they spoke to cited time and cost as just some of the barriers stopping them from getting fit, but that “one of the strongest themes was a fear of judgement. Worries about being judged for being the wrong size, not fit enough and not skilled enough came up time and again. Every single woman I have talked to about this campaign – and that is now hundreds – has identified with this, and it is that fear of not being ‘good enough’ in some way, and the fear that you are the only one who feels like that, that we want to address.”
The biggest splash of the campaign so far is the rollicking Youtube video sountracked with some Get Your Freak On. The video depicts women of all ages and sizes enjoying exercise – grunting, sweating and huffing their ways to healthier hearts, bodies and minds. Arses jiggle, faces flush, and all those Instagram posts of supermodels in yoga poses while holidaying in Bali are distant memories. This is fierce, unapologetic, and fun. It is one of our favourite ads in recent memory and if Twitter is anything to go by, This Girl Can is a hit with the public too. It is garnering such a warm reception that those snow warnings are barely registering.
Price says the point of the campaign is to “tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport. They come in all shapes and sizes and all levels of ability. They have a myriad of reasons for doing what they do. If you are wondering if you should join them – or carry on – this campaign says it really doesn’t matter if you are a bit rubbish or completely brilliant, the main thing is that you are a woman and you are doing something, and that deserves to be celebrated.”
The message is on point and one that deserves to be welcomed with open arms. Yesterday morning we attended a morning class in Crunch Fitness in Temple Bar to test out the new Penneys Workout collection. As instructor Viktorija got us working our abs and stretching muscles we didn’t know we had, we felt a tiny bit silly lunging in front of the mirriored wall. But then we started to feel so good, hello functioning lungs, that those vibrating thighs were a source of pride. It helped that they were encased in the best sportswear line January budgets can buy. Sneak peek below…
Gilet €12, Crop Top €4, Leggings €11
Leggings €9, Trainers €13, Socks €3
Vest €8, Water Bottle €2
And the best part? Nothing from the collection will cost you more than €17. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get your daily jog/dance/skip/smile in.
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun
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