Sports mentoring to inspire ‘non-active’ girls to get more active

We deliver a 6-month female empowerment initiative with our Ambassador Marilyn Okoro, 800m GB Olympian. We take running into the heart of the school to engage with young girls who previously have not been very active or have not considered running as a way of exercise. By using the power of a positive female sporting role model we aim to create a running legacy that will last throughout their school life and beyond.

The girls frequently perceive far more barriers to being active than boys, and those barriers increasingly include body image issues as girls get older. There is often more choice, opportunity and encouragement to play sports for boys, and girls can feel that there aren’t many sporting female role models to aspire to be like.

Marilyn works with the school to tailor a sports programme to meet their students’ needs, including practical running coaching and any areas of social and emotional support they would like to target e.g. body image, female empowerment, self-confidence, team building, ethnic diversity etc. This is delivered through classroom sessions and small group work.

After the day programme, two participants are chosen to receive six months of remote mentoring from Marilyn. Marilyn helps to develop the mentees confidence, self-belief and achieving a healthier and more active lifestyle. Mentoring takes place every fortnight and is delivered through Skype and our specialist safeguarded communication platform. The two girls are encouraged to maintain running and form the start of the fun, friendly and supportive running group.

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