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US Girls Can week inspires hundreds of women across campus to get active

A one-off UV yoga session for US Girls Can week

Zorball proved popular during US Girls Can week

Building on the success of US Girls Can week last term, Sussexsport held a second week celebrating women's sport and fitness on campus in February (17-23), attracting over 300 visits to special one-off female-focused sessions.

Alongside established US Girls Can year-round weekly sessions of circuits classes, football, basketball and cricket, the extra one-off sessions for the week included:

  • Zorball
  • UV Yoga
  • Tea and talk with a personal trainer to discuss barriers to exercise, fitness and nutrition
  • Mixed gender football matches
  • Weightlifting workshops.

The aim of the US Girls Can campaign is to reduce the gender partipation gap in physical activity on campus, which is mirrored nationally across the country, with more men taking up sport and fitness activities than women. 

Sussexsport's weekly Active US sessions are usually weighted towards male participation, with 63% men and 37% women taking part across the 28 activities and sporting leagues that run each week during term time.

But during US Girls Can week, this gap narrowed significantly to 53% male and 47% female. And the week also encouraged 70 new participants to take part, all of whom had never engaged in physical activity on campus before.

The campaign's work to address barriers to women's egagement in sport and fitness has focused on creating a supportive, non-judgemental community that is peer-led, with a diverse group of eight student volunteer US Girl Can 'Leaders' selected each year, whose feedback and interests then inform what activities are offered and how these are communicated to the campus community.

The Leaders receive training while in the role to provide them with skills to make them sporting leaders of the future, in a field where women are under-represented in senior leadership roles.

  • US Girls Can sessions are open to all self-identifying women and non-binary students and staff and you can join the US Girls Can community on Instagram and Facebook.

Posted on behalf of: Sussexsport
Last updated: Tuesday, 10 March 2020