GET ready for a real Victorian-style kick in the sterotype.
Women and girls, all size and ability, are being empowered to jiggle things up and become more active in a new The Girl Can campaign launched by the state government this week. This comes about eight months after the woman behind the world-famous movement visited Ballarat and Clunes on a scouting mission.
Sport England chief executive officer Jennie Price had wanted to really gauge the barriers for women and girls to get moving in regional Victoria, acknowledging it was a different landscape to inner-city and suburban issues. Ms Price’s visit included a close look at the growing ranks of Ballarat Cricket Association junior girls’ teams.
The overall result was a landmark partnership with VicHealth to expand the deliberately edgy This Girl Can campaign, which is now rolling out across the state.
This comes as three in five Victorian women do not get enough physical activity, with more than half worrying about being judged while the exercise.
Western Victoria weighs in as one of the nation’s most overweight and obese regions with Ballarat well-documented for leading the state in rates of cardiovascular disease.
The Victorian campaign features everyday women overcoming their fears to give it a go and get their sweat on in a range of activities from boxing, cycling and roller derby to netball and AFL.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the campaign aimed to smash outdated stereotypes about women and sport.
“We have so many fabulous role models in women’s sport right now – but you don’t have to be an AFLW star or a marathon runner to get active,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Whether it's in the gym, a team sport or just a walk around the block, we want as many women as possible to get active and prove that Victorian girls definitely can.”
When VicHealth and This Girl Can opened recruiting for a Victorian campaign in July, expectations were to receive about a half-dozen entries. Instead, 300 women applied in the first week.
More than 3.9 million British women have been ditching the couch since Sport England launched their campaign in 2015. The project features provocative slogans like, “I kick balls – deal with it”, to tackle the gender gap in female exercise participation.
Ballarat women are encouraged to join the This Girl Can - Victoria movement by visiting thisgirlcan.com.au.