Women wearing read top doing an exercise using green resistance bands

This Girl Can: meet the campaign for Croydon women’s health

A Croydon based campaign focusing on women’s health and their need to keep fit and active was launched a week before the first coronavirus lockdown last March and is still going strong.

This Girl Can Croydon run by Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) in partnership with London Sport, focused on targeting the demographics that were classed as having the lowest activity rate.

Christine Double, Head of Operations at CVA, explained that London Sport wanted to strive to get women in the Croydon community active, as they were being overlooked by other initiatives.

Double said: “We gradually began to realise is that for a lot of inactive women, online activities offer a fantastic alternative for them, which break down certain barriers that they hit when they were doing face-to-face activities.

“One of the things that the campaign was tackling the first time around was fear of judgement.”

KEEPING FIT: Hula-hooping yourself active! Credit: Sport England on behalf of CVA

CVA wanted to make sure that women in their community, who may be dissuaded from participating from exercise face-to-face, have a safe space for them to feel included and free from judgement.

Partnered with 25 local community exercise groups, This Girl Can offers a variety of classes for women aged 18 to 60, including Bollywood dancing, Thai boxing, and yoga.

Double explained that Croydon Health Service found that 63 percent of adults living in Croydon were classed as overweight or obese, which is approximately seven percent more than average.

In terms of activity rate, which is based on whether people do 150 minutes of activity per week (30 minutes across five days), where they found Croydon had an activity rate of around 62 percent, equating to around five percent less than the national average.

CVA tried to gear their focus to the most deprived areas of their community and, at the time of writing, CVA had engaged over 500 women in the activity classes on offer.

Double wanted to reinforce the idea to women within the Croydon community that whilst these classes benefit their health, they are also fun to be involved with and can provide a key social interaction that we might not be getting during this current lockdown.

She said: “We wanted people to really enjoy the activities they do, and not see it as one massive chore, and the classes will be something they look forward to.”

For more information about This Girl Can Croydon women’s health campaign and the classes on offer, visit the CVA website.

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Marjory Millum
Marjory Millum
18 January 2021 12:53 pm

Happy to offer a Pilates class !!

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