Campaign encourages women to get active

THE Gippy Girls Can campaign was launched with a showcase day at Sale Botanic Gardens, to encourage women and girls to play a sport and get active.

Gippsport’s Ryan Evans said it was a local offshoot of This Girl Can, a VicHealth program.

“We’re trying to give them an idea of how many things are available in the shire — quite often, we’re not aware of all the things we can get involved with, so we’re just trying to get it out there,” he said.

“Clubs can sign up and we’ll send it out to everyone, and more as more clubs and groups get on board we’ll add them in and advertise those activities for them.”

The activities on offer included the Gippsland Waratahs dragon boat club, which began as a way to keep breast cancer survivors fit, according to Ann Coulson.

“We train most Saturday mornings at 10am at the Port of Sale — all you need to bring is clothes you don’t mind getting wet — you won’t fall out, but you may get splashed.”

Bionic Tennis junior coach Megan Supplitt added having role models was also crucial.

“As a kid, to be able to look up to people and think, ‘I could be that’ is important,” she said.

The social aspect is just as important as getting fit, according to Sale United’s Leza Rye, who was kicking a ball around with her daughter Dakota.

“I love playing soccer, it’s great for fitness, but I’ve met a great bunch of girls, and it’s sort of a family, actually, you bond together as an awesome team,” she said.

“You don’t really need any skills, just come down, have a go, and you’ll progress with your skills, you learn as you go — just come down and have heaps of fun.”

Gippsport is also running a forum for young women to become future leaders, Change Gippsland’s Game, which will feature guest speakers and a monster obstacle course, in Trafalgar on October 2.

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