Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign has been one that I have been following and admiring since its launch.
The campaign set out to begin changing the way women think about themselves when getting active - to help build their confidence and inspire them to get involved.
It has been hugely successful; inspiring 2.8 million women to be more active (according to figures released this week) and last week launched a range of clothing and activewear with M&S. The clothing launch follows the release of a t-shirt in July, which sold out in 36 hours, and another which sold out in September.
The campaign was created in response to research that revealed a startling gender gap in exercise levels across the UK and that many women were put off exercise by a fear of being judged – either for their appearance, their ability or choosing to spend time on themselves.
The campaign’s inclusive message is also evident in its images, which have not been retouched or manipulated, and the women pictured were scouted in the street and are not professional models or actors.
In the year since it was launched, the campaign has proved a huge success: Sport England announced yesterday that it has inspired 2.8 million women to do more physical activity (figures are based on a sample survey of 1,000 women, in which 40% said they had done more exercise as a direct result of seeing the campaign), and the result of Sport England’s Active People Survey, published in December, show that the number of women being active for at least 30 minutes each week has increased by 148,000. The This Girl Can film has now been viewed 37 million times online and there have been 660,000 tweets using the campaign’s official hashtag.