Would it surprise you to learn that 576,000 women in Wales don’t participate in any form of activity? I was shocked when I first read that too, then I remembered I buy my joggers based on how comfy they look for a hangover, an the last thing I ran, was a bath.
It’s not that I’m lazy, far from it. In fact according to the health app on my phone, I regularly make up my steps, dancing on a night out! I just don’t think I’ve found the right sport or activity for me, ya know? I tried jogging, in fact I bought the full kit (all the gear, no idea me) and went from being able to run for 30 seconds in January, to completing my first 5k in March! I was dead chuffed. But without a goal or a race booked in, I found it hard to motivate myself to get back out there.
Aside from feeling my body physically get stronger and my breathing improving, what running (walking quickly) did for my mental health was amazing. I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression in the past and I’ve always felt walking helped me massively, but the sort of freedom that came with jogging was fab. In fact whenever I feel a dark cloud pass over me, I regularly find myself reaching for my Roshe and hitting the road!
I’m like most people in the world, or at least the half a million in Wales who know that there are no downsides to fitting in a bit more exercise into our lives. But why then is it so hard to motivate myself to get out there and bloody do it?
Enter, Our Squad. A virtual online community of girls and women who want to support and help one another get out and do more!
The programme, which has just been launched by Sport Wales will encourage women to attend classes, groups and sporting events in an attempt to help women across Wales get fit, healthy and make new friends.
Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of Sport Wales, said: “There are some truly outstanding programmes and projects out there already successfully engaging women and girls – whether it’s Streetgames’ Us Girls programme, Run Wales’ social running programme or Merthyr Girls Can’s life-changing fitness programme. They are making sport and physical activity, and the many benefits that come with it, more accessible for females and it’s usually down to the people who run the projects and take the time to ensure others have a good experience.
“Together with our partners, we want to showcase these opportunities and give a platform to the ladies who have helped to break down barriers for other women and girls to enable them to try something new or get back into sport. Here in Wales we have a strong culture of coming together to achieve great things – we only have to look at our sporting achievements over the past year to see that. We wanted to harness this togetherness and put it to good use helping to change perceptions of sport and physical activity and in turn, behaviours.”
Sport should be social, and god knows us Welsh are a chatty bunch! I think a partner in crime or some online encouragement is going to do me and my head wonders.
And it’s just as well because I’ll be lacing up my Nike’s, squeezing into my leggings and filling up my Love Island water battle very soon! As part of the programme, Our Squad have invited me to take part in a mix of 6 sporting activities and I’ll be writing about each one (once I catch my breath)
I’ll need all the encouragement I can get, so in true Our Squad style, send me your positive tweets, tips and words of encouragement!
You can follows along use the hashtags #OurSquad, #SgwadNi and online at Sport.Wales, where I’ll be posting everything.