T’arah Inam-McDermott explores the importance of This UCL Girl Can Week and highlights the events taking place
It’s This UCL Girl Can week! Prepare for some fun and free female sports sessions, and the chance to try something new. This week is inspired by the This Girl Can campaign created by Sports England which aims to celebrate women being active and to help them overcome the fear of judgement. They created a highly successful poster campaign with quotes such as ‘I swim because I love my body. Not because I hate it.’ and ‘hot and not bothered’. This combats the Instagram culture of health and fitness where most images are curated to ‘look good’ and hide the reality of exercise and sport. This can be off-putting for women who feel they cannot live up to that standard. This Girl Can promotes body positivity and the idea that everyone should have the confidence to give it a go. This week continues in much the same way, offering 26 taster sessions from different sports societies (a list of these events and the booking details can be found at the bottom of the article). Some highlights include the This UCL Girl Can Neon Rave Run on Tuesday where they will be running 5km along the river glowing in Neon outfits, and This Girl Can Break Records by Women’s Hockey where they are attempting to break several world records!
Indeed we cannot begin This UCL Girl Can week without mentioning the This UCL Girl Can Club, an offshoot of the Running, Athletes and Cross Country Club. Having only been running for a year, this club has been very successful in encouraging women to take the time to exercise and look after their health, while also spreading the idea that everyone should be confident enough to try. They meet every Saturday morning for fun fitness sessions focusing on a variety of fitness types, from yoga to circuit training. For every event, they highlight the fact that ‘these sessions are suitable for ALL fitness levels, so nobody will get left behind!’. Coming to these sessions can be a great opportunity to work on your fitness and also meet some great people who you can motivate and be motivated by.
The sessions are also held in different areas of London meaning you can get a little sightseeing of this beautiful city in, while getting a workout. This includes everything from seeing beautiful views while doing hill sprints on Primrose Hill, to a tour of the scenic South Bank while jogging by the river. With amazing incentives such as promises of post session coffee and cake, and also a free t-shirt when you attend 6 sessions in a term, these girls really understand how to motivate people to get out of bed on a Saturday morning.
This week is important in encouraging women to be proactive in experiencing new things and not to fear judgement or bow to the pressure of expectations related to fitness. This is a necessary step towards equality when, according to Sports England, fewer women than men play sport regularly despite 75% wanting to be more active. This shows that there is a big problem in our society and shows the many social barriers women face compared to men when choosing to be active. We should encourage women not just to want, but to do. Through this they will find out that they can do. This is what the This UCL Girl Can Club and the female sports teams are trying to acomplish this week. As always, they are showing that we UCL girls can.
UCL Lacrosse taster session 12.45-2.15pm
UCL Women’s Hockey Club – This Girl Can break records 6-8pm
UCL Project Active Barre Concept 12-1pm
Rums Boat-Club – This Girl Can Row 6-6:45pm + 6:45-7:30pm
RUMS Netball Club – Netball Versatility Tournament – 6-8pm
UCL Running, Athletics and Cross Country Club – This UCL Girl Can Neon Rave Run 6-8pm
UCL Fencing Club – This Girl Can Fence 1-2pm
UCL Cycling Club – Regents Park Spin 2pm
UCL Ultimate Frisbee Club – Intro to Frisbee 2-4pm
UCL Project Active ‘Power Hour’ – 2-3pm
UCL Project Active HulaFit – 3-4pm
UCL Muay Thai – Taster session 4-5pm
UCLU Yoncé Appreciation Society – Heels workshop (Dance) 5-6pm
UCL Jazz Society – Jazz Workshop 7-8.30pm
UCL Project Active Dance Fitness 12.15-1pm
Rums Boat-Club –This Girl Can Row 6-6:45pm + 6:45-7:30pm
UCL Women’s Rugby O2 Touch takeover 7-8pm
UCL Swimming Club – This UCL Girl Can swim 8.30pm
UCL Project Active Squash 12.45-2.15pm
UCL Project Active Kickboxing 5-6pm
UCL Project Active Badminton 9-10am
UCL Gliding Club – Trial lesson 7.30am-6pm
UCL Hiking Club – Hike through Epping Forest
UCL Gliding Club – Trial lesson 7.30am-6pm
UCL Netball Club – Give it a Go Netball 12-1pm
UCL Parkour – Taster session 12.45-3pm
For all This UCL Girl Can Activities book here: https://studentsunionucl.org/whats-on/series/this-ucl-girl-can-2017
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons