Girls pack a punch at Black Cats’ taster day

Nationwide campaign 'This Girl Can' to get women and girls moving at the Seaburn Centre

Nationwide campaign 'This Girl Can' to get women and girls moving at the Seaburn Centre

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Schoolgirls from across the region have been given the chance to try their hands at a range of new sports, thanks to SAFC’s charitable arm.

The Foundation of Light organised a sports taster session for girls aged 14 to 16 from six schools across Sunderland, Duram and South Tyneside with funding from the Premier League.

Around 70 girls took part in the event at the Seaburn Centre as part of the national This Girl Can campaign to promote women’s sport.

Youngsters were able to try badminton;, boxercise, dance, netball, soccercise and Zumba and receive information on how to get involved in these and other sports taking place near their homes.

Liz Barton-Jones is Health and Wellbeing Curriculum Lead at the foundation: “The event was a great opportunity for girls who don’t regularly take part in exercise to experience different sports and activities available to them,” she said.

“We’ve had huge success engaging women and girls through our Premier League Girls Football and Premier League 4 Sport programmes already.

“However, we’re now able to offer a broad range of other sports and physical activities for girls and young women and we are delighted to host events such as these that showcase the opportunities available in this region.”

Belmont Community School teacher Nicola Roberts said: “This Girl Can is something we’re pushing a lot at school, we have the posters up on the walls and try to re-engage a lot of the girls in sport. We have students here who don’t generally take part in physical exercise inside or outside of school and today’s event has given them the chance to find opportunities within the local community.

“You can tell the girls have really enjoyed it and when they go back into school they will drop that confidence issue and maybe say ‘I can do that’ and that will inspire others to get involved.”

Bethany from Biddick Academy, said: “We’ve really enjoyed the day. We’ve tried some of the sports such as football, badminton and boxing before but there a lot we’ve never done before.

“I’d definitely do some of the sports again in the future such as Zumba which was great fun.”