What Is The This Girl Can Campaign – VicHealth?
‘Encouraging Women of all Shapes, Sizes, Ages and Levels of Ability.’
- This Girl Can Campaign, VicHealth.
This Girl Can – Victoria is here to celebrate and support all Victorian women (yes, you!) embrace physical activity in a way that suits them. Whether it’s a little or a lot, what matters is getting some movement into your day.
While many of us know that exercising is important for our physical and mental health, studies suggest that half of us aren’t getting enough exercise each week.
Why? Victorian women have told us that a big part of not trying new activities or getting involved in sport is a fear of being judged, or not being fit enough to even bother starting. Not to mention that, compared to men twice as many women are put off getting active because they’re worried about what other people think – how unfair is that? Sports, gyms and moving your body are for everybody (literally, every body).
Whatever your fitness level, shape or size, VicHealth is looking for women who want to join a global movement that will help other women to get active too.
Twenty-five women were selected as representatives of twenty-five different sports for the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, run by VicHealth. I managed to catch up with one of these lovely women, Nida, who is 31 and a Pakistani AFL woman footballer who competed in the 2017 International Cup. She was chosen as a face of the campaign for her role in football, but also for her small size; Nida got over her fear of being fragile to compete in the tough sport.
Some may be surprised that a Muslim woman from Pakistan would even consider playing football, but Nida explained that contrary to popular belief, not everyone is extremely conservative in Pakistan.
“I was never forced or pressured to wear a headscarf, and I have been at liberty to make my own decisions in life. I am very proud to call myself a Muslim and a Pakistani.”
Nida didn’t even know what AFL football was when she tried out. She was expecting soccer.
“When I played a voice inside my head was doing what many people will find their inner voice doing - telling me I wasn’t good enough, fit enough or perhaps even smart enough to get it right. But my family have taught me that it is not the size of the person in the fight but the size of the fight in the person that matters the most. I discovered that if I set short-term goals, I could play the games. Simple things like get up after that first tackle or run that extra distance. My mind was strong and so my body followed.”
Despite the support and encouragement of their coach and their efforts, her team lost each game, achieving just one goal for the whole season. But the team didn’t let this get them down. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves, dancing and singing after every game!
“We never gave up and kept on playing and when we scored that first single goal, it was our competitors, the European Crusaders, who cheered for us the hardest!”
Nida says that she has been very fortunate, and not only with the football. She likens living in Melbourne to a breath of fresh air.
“People are incredibly polite, open and have a strong work ethic. The overall community is very culturally diverse and welcoming. Being here has given me extraordinary opportunities and experiences that I couldn’t even fathom before. Over here people aspire to not only accept differences but also to celebrate them.”
“If you dare to try out new things, life can reward you with unexpected opportunities. I might not be able to conquer the world on my own, but with my teammates, I can now dream to be on top one day.”
How can you get involved with the campaign?
Like Cazinc, if you like what Vic Health does, please share the campaign with your friends and family so they can be inspired too!
If you’re part of a sports club or organisation that wants to support the campaign, sign up to access their promotional toolkit.
Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist. Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.
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