“Many girls don’t have the access”: Project encouraging young women in sport launched in Barnsley

Written by Athena Stavrou

A new project empowering young women was launched in Barnsley on Thursday, after girls reported not feeling comfortable participating in sport and exercise.

The project, Us Girls, was set up by the Barnsley Youth Association and Barnsley Youth Council. It will advocate for issues raised by 12-19 year old girls in the area, and run various sport taster sessions.

Rebecca Coyne, the lead youth worker on the project said: “Young women are not feeling safe in their community. You come across many more young men than young women doing sports, especially at this time of year when it’s dark and they might not feel safe.”

Free taster exercise classes offered to the girls will include yoga, boxercise and self defence classes, along with match and stadium visits.

The launch on Thursday was a prelude to the first session on Wednesday 2nd March, which will be a boxercise class and team building activities.

According to Ms. Coyne, many girls expressed that they don’t feel comfortable doing most local team sports. She said: “If there is [a sport they’re interested in], it’s something like dance that comes at a cost. Many girls don’t have the access or don’t have the confidence”

The project is based on consultations that took place with young women before Christmas, and will continue to be led by the young women themselves. According to Ms. Coyne, the girls at the launch were especially interested in campaigning on women’s issues, and this is something they’d like to incorporate into the project.

Ms. Coyne said: “We’ve got to really work hard now to help them go through all the group processes which make them effective, but also just to have some fun.”

If you’re interested in the project and want to get involved, contact Rebecca Coyne on 07816486731 or email info@youth-association.org

Written by Athena Stavrou

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