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Uni girls can - Leeds
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Uni Girls Can 13/10/2015

At the University of Leeds we aim to inspire female students and staff to engage with sport and physical activity in the context that is right for them. As part of this aim, this week we launched ‘Uni Girls Can’ with a week long focus on women’s participation.

We are welcoming Dame Sarah Storey and Charlotte Evans MBE to the university as part of Uni Girls Can to inspire through their personal journeys, the barriers they have faced and how they have stayed positive.

Bringing a local feel to the week, last night we hosted Helen Williams (local athlete and Hyde Park Harrier), who completed the worlds oldest and largest ultra-marathon (56.1miles), Comrades Marathon in South Africa. She did this just 9 months after giving both to her second child. Helen gave the unedited story and discussed the struggles she faced leading up to the event.

Mother and daughter blogging duo Veggie Runners (Winners of the best blog, The Running Awards 2014) came on to campus and discussed how women are bombarded with messages about how they should be, behave and look. Empowering the audience to be proud of who they are.

To round the week off there will be a panel discussion on Thursday around the present and the future of female sport and what needs to happen to ensure that it remains a high priority. The panel includes: Sophie Ashcroft (International Hockey Umpire), Alison Rose (Physiotherapist to Jessica Ennis-Hill) and Laura Beardsmore (3 Time World Aikido Champion).

All the talks and workshops have been a great success with staff, students and members of the public in Leeds engaging with the week in some way. We’ve even had a social media competition running to win a Lornah Sports look, we just asked “what inspires you to get moving?”

After the launch week we have our catwalk run next Tuesday 20th October. This is an urban run around Leeds where everyone is encouraged to wear their brightest clothes, we’ll be offering free nail art and face-painting to set the mood and there will be coffee and cake afterwards too!

Following the launch week, we will be focussing on creating a platform through our website, where staff, students and the local community can find activities, get nutritional advice, increase their leadership skills, develop networking opportunities and even read some blogs!

Find out more about Uni Girls Can.

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