Following the hugely successful national This Girl Can campaign, Bristol has launched an initiative to get more women in the city playing sport.
With 60 per cent of women in Bristol not taking regular exercise Bristol Girls Can aims to inspire more women to take up sport.
The campaign is backed by one of Bristol’s most high-profile sportswomen, Commonwealth Gold medallist gymnast Claudia Fragapane who trains at the Easton-based Bristol Hawks Gymnastics Club.
Claudia said Bristol Girls Can aims to get “women of all ages, shapes and sizes to simply get involved in some form of activity and just enjoy themselves”.
“You can be tall, short, slim or curvy, it really doesn’t matter – it is all about enjoying yourself and doing something that will have a really positive affect on your life,” she added.
Bristol Girls Can has selected seven women as sporting ambassadors and Neil Maggs met one of them, Easton Cowgirls footballer Evelyn Cohen.
I feel really humbled about it, it’s really nice to be picked out of all the number of brilliant women that play different sports across the city – I feel really honoured.
I have been with the Easton Cowgirls club for about 2 years now, and I play as a forward or in midfield. I love it.
I feel so much more relaxed, de-stressed, amazing about my health, it really affects my overall well-being. I would recommend it to anyone.
Even I have days when I can’t be bothered to go to training, but I go and I leave the house, and I always end up having a nice time. Its such a good laugh and a giggle with the women, and have done loads of exercise and just feel amazing about myself. Also I come back tired, and have the best sleep ever!
I think it’s just about making the effort with yourself. Women are very busy these days, everyone has got a long day, lots of people have a family, we all need to find that little bit of time.
I think if you make that time with yourself, commit to yourself, it will make a massive difference and you really will feel better about yourself.
If you look around your local area there are loads of clubs that are open to all kind of diversity and different kinds of people.
With the Cowgirls we have so many different women, women of all shapes and sizes, from so many different backgrounds, with so much different knowledge. We have teachers, support workers, council workers, that all come together to support each other.
Having a safe nurturing environment for women is really important to overcome this. Realistically you just stop caring about [how you look], because no one else cares about them. That’s the way to think about it.
In my sport women’s football is coming on the TV much more often now, so women are seeing more women play which is important to inspire them to take up the sport.
We just need to be patient, keep pushing forward, get more and more things like the ThisGirlCan and Bristol Girls Can campaigns to spread awareness. Things won’t change overnight but, in the near future they will, and this will have a huge impact on getting more women active.
I would say get up and get out there. When you have that little feeling that I should go to a class, a sport, or go for a run – just do it. Put your trainers on and grasp that moment because when you get back home I guarantee you will feel so much better about yourself.
More information on the campaign and free women only sessions on Sunday 8 March.
Neil Maggs presents the Midweek Sports Bar on BCfm. Next Tuesday night will be a Bristol Girls Can special dedicated to women in sport.