A scheme focused on increasing physical activity for under-represented groups in areas of deprivation and initiated by Sport Cardiff has been showcased by a group of girls who have benefitted from it.
INNERSTRENGTH launched in January through Sport Cardiff’s Girls Together campaign and intervenes to target inactive teenage girls who display low levels of confidence and self- esteem.
Participants complete a pre- and post- course questionnaire with the 215 girls aged from 13-16 who have taken part so far, recording an increase in confidence (83%) and a staggering 700% increase in the number of girls meeting the recommended physical activity guidance of five hours per week following completion of the programme.
The 10-week course is currently running in Cardiff’s Eastern Leisure Centre and STAR Centre in Splott and offers a physical activity class with wellbeing workshops to focus on mental health and wellbeing once girls have been referred by their secondary schools, which identify a need for intervention.
Girls from St Illtyd’s Catholic High School, Eastern High and St Teilo's Church in Wales High Schools as well as a handful of pupils from Bassaleg School who are living in the Cardiff area, celebrated their success on the programme with VIPs including Cardiff School of Sport Director of Sport Ben O’Connell; CSS Deputy Dean Katie Thirlaway; Head of Sport Cardiff Laura Williams and representatives from Cardiff Youth Service, charitable social enterprise GLL and Public Health Wales.
The group demonstrated a Glow-in-the-Dark Spin bike session; which is just one of the many activities they have been participating in over recent weeks.
Fay Benningwood, Women and Girls Co-ordinator for Sport Cardiff, said: “The INNERSTRENGTH programme is well recognised across the City and has been cited as an example of good practice by Public Health Wales. Through the Girls Together campaign, a number of INNERSTRENGTH sessions have been delivered in schools and community venues and research is showing that attendance in the 10-week programme increases physical activity and self-confidence of participants.”
Four girls who featured in the INNERSTRENGTH pilot have also taken on additional opportunities by enrolling on the Sport Cardiff Young Ambassador programme - an opportunity they say they would not have applied for without having gained confidence through the #INNERSTRENGTH project.
To read this story in Welsh, click here.