Empowerment and exercise combine for a week full of opportunity.
The LSESU This Girl Can Week is running this year from the 10th to the 16th of February. Much like the nationwide This Girl Can campaign, our week-long version aims to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability. We don’t want anyone to feel embarrassed getting sweaty and red in the face whilst exercising, as it’s 100% natural, healthy and worth celebrating!
The set-up is a little different from previous years. This year, the SU and AU have empowered clubs to run their own events throughout This Girl Can Week. Clubs that have stepped up and are running give it a go sessions include Netball, Boxing, Dance, Rugby, Football/Futsal, Dance, Athletics & Running, Yoga and Basketball. As an AU Exec, we have been thoroughly impressed with the amount of clubs and individuals wanting to get involved, contributing ideas and supporting the campaign. Through these sessions, we hope women embrace the idea of trying new sports, making new friends and eventually realising how good it is to have a variety of exercise in your weekly routine.
However, the week is not just AU clubs running events. Individuals both within the SU and beyond have gotten in contact with us looking to run unique and useful events; I for one am really looking forward to them! The Bootcamp, circuits, weights, self-defence seminar and women who fight sessions are all really special additions to the schedule. They give us the opportunity to take something away from the week and into our daily lives. The chance to feel a little safer in London through the self-defence seminar, to have more confidence to go to a workout class like the Bootcamp or to know how to use the weights in the gym are individually small achievements but can really have an impact on a woman’s life.
Given the diversity of the events running in the week, I hope that there is something new or different for everyone. I am especially excited about the women’s only weights and boxing because those are sessions I would never ordinarily engage in. I am keen to gain confidence and revisit again after this week. The social on Wednesday is open to all AU members, with a crucial focus on the women’s clubs and representation.
We hope women across LSE manage to take part in the week and that they end the week more confident in their abilities, skill and bodies than ever before. And that that confidence grows even more going forward.
Top events to look for!
Self-defence seminar – This is an opportunity to take something tangible away from the week and one that is definitely useful for life in London.
Women’s Sport Social – Though open to everyone, we want to bring the AU’s female clubs together for a night of socialising and really getting to know one another. We so rarely get to hang out as an AU, at least outside of Zoo, so we are excited to mingle outside our sports and get to know some of the other fantastic AU women.
Women’s Only Weights – If you’ve ever walked into the gym at peak time and felt too embarrassed to even go pick up a dumbbell because you weren’t sure what to do, this session may be for you. If you’re looking to get started, improve your technique and learn about why weights as part of your workout will add something completely different to your fitness, come along!
Mindfulness Yoga – By Thursday evening you’ve pretty much made it through another week of LSE and all the stress of the week definitely builds up. Come along to yoga to relax and learn how to take better care of yourself during the week. Whether you’re a yogi or a beginner, this session is open to all women looking to learn some mindfulness that can be used in the stressful life of an LSE student.
Top 10 Inspirational LSE Women in Sport
Laura Goddard – Lacrosse Club Captain
Jess Coventry – Netball Vice Club Captain
Georgia Mosheim – Lacrosse 1st Team Captain
Ellie Cumptsky – Netball & Sports Performance Program (Sailing)
Eponine Balibrea – Football
Ines Söderström – Ex-Rugby Vice-Captain
Anisa Khan – Kabaddi
Maria Pavlovec – Dance Club Captain
Charly Brady – Ex-Rugby Club Captain
Kirsten McNally – Athletics & Running Club Captain
Alongside the fantastic sports events happening every day this week, there is a social media campaign running alongside it of equal importance. We opened up nominations university-wide for the LSE Inspiration Women in Sport as we strive to celebrate those women in the AU who go above and beyond to inspire others, improve at their sports and enhance our AU experience.
There were over 50 nominations in the end from a whole range of sports within the AU, which we as an exec found really amazing; each AU club is invariably full of inspirational women. We read through the nominations and why individuals found them inspirational and managed, with great difficulty, to narrow it down to our top 10.
These women represent the very best the AU has to offer. From club captains to committed team members, each woman on this list brings something different to their club. From Laura Goddard’s successful UGM motion to make LSE improve support for sexual assault survivors; Ellie Cumpsty playing for Netball 2nds in the week and Sailing pretty much every weekend; Anisa Khan having been part of the women’s team that won the National Kabaddi Championships last year. The sheer talent, dedication and commitment these women have for their sports, their team-members and their AU is undoubtedly inspirational and we are overjoyed we get to share their success with the entire university.
It is important to recognise women and their commitment to the AU because it is far too easy to take for granted how much is done both on the court and field (often behind the scenes). Every day. So, this week serves as an opportunity to highlight to the entire university that the AU truly is a community that fully supports one-another and celebrates our achievements together.