Sunderland students join This Girl Can campaign

Carly Sinclair, Kimberley Watt, Abbie Waites and Natasha Black have been named as This Girl Can ambassadors.
Carly Sinclair, Kimberley Watt, Abbie Waites and Natasha Black have been named as This Girl Can ambassadors.

The highly acclaimed This Girl Can campaign has recruited four Sunderland College students to help spread its message.

First appearing on screens in 2015, the nationwide campaign, which was responsible for empowering 1.6million women to start exercising, proved such a massive hit that its creators have brought it back.

Working on their self confidence and showing them they can do whatever they want

Kimberley Watt

And, now the Sport England initiative has notched it up a gear by enlisting the help of young women from colleges across the country to drive home the message that exercise is for everyone.

Four students from Sunderland College have been chosen to help represent the campaign and have been named as This Girl Can ambassadors.

Abbie Waites, Carly Sinclair, Kimberley Watt and Natasha Black will be responsible for raising the profile of women in sport and organising events to encourage inactive women and girls to take up exercise.

The roles were hotly contested with more than 190 girls applying for 70 ambassador positions nationwide.

Kimberley, 16, who is studying A-Level PE, biology and history at Sunderland College, said: “We are the only college in the North East to have been appointed This Girl Can ambassadors and it’s something I’m really proud of.

“This isn’t just about helping women and girls to get more active, but it’s also about working on their self-confidence and showing them they can do whatever they want.”

The four students travelled to London’s Olympic Park for training where they took part in specialist This Girl Can workshops, led by some of the campaign’s masterminds.

They have been given funding by the Association of Colleges (AoC) to launch free weekly boot camp sessions for women of all ages and the ambassadors will be rolling-out soccercise and walking football activities to the local community.

The girls will also act as ambassadors for This Girl Can events ran by the AoC, including its upcoming North East festival, which will be hosted by Sunderland College and will feature fitness activities such as UV badminton, roller skating and clubbercise for inactive female college students.

Lucy Oliver, the college’s sports development officer, said: “The ambassadors are there to act as role models and will be helping to break down the preconceptions that lots of women have about exercise and sport. Research shows that there is still a massive gulf between the amount of men and women who take part in sport on a regular basis, so our ambassadors will be helping to bridge this gulf.

“To have four students appointed as ambassadors out of 70 places nationally is a real accolade and is a fantastic experience for them. They will be helping to empower other women and it will give them a great advantage in the future when they begin their careers.”

The free boot camp sessions will run on Wednesday mornings from March 14 in the college’s multi-million pound Sports Academy at Bede Campus. To book a place or for more information, email lucy.oliver@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk or call 0191 5116000 extension 05195.