Meet our Girls
Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport (LRS) have secured a number of local female champions for the This Girl Can campaign! Find out more about them below.
Natasha Mina started kickboxing aged 8 and started competing at age 12. Due to other commitments her participation became irregular around school age. She came through the local WISPA project (women in sport and physical activity) which re-motivated her to get back into sport and physical activity. She is now fully engaged by participating herself and coaching kickboxing.
"The 'This Girl Can' campaign is uplifting and the advert is exhilarating and motivating for me and every female that I have discussed it with.
It is an excellent and powerful concept that I have full belief in. I suspect a surge of women just like our 'real ladies' to come forward in confidence ready to participate in a world of activity.
I myself feel empowered when I think to myself, 'this girl can hold pads', 'this girl can hit hard', 'this girl can kick high', 'this girl can fight'".
Paige is a T34 U23 wheelchair athlete, who was introduced to racing a number of years ago. She found great love and enthusiasm for racing and her dream is to one day be representing Great Britain. Prior to racing Paige worked proactively both as a sports leader and ambassador within several organisations.
Paige hopes to encourage others to achieve their very best. That dreams can become a reality with hard work and commitment, taking little steps to accomplish those long term aims.
"I am delighted to be a Champion for This Girl Can, it is a real privilege to be involved in such a brilliant and encouraging initiative. It is fantastic to be able to support woman and girls to embrace sport and physical activity. Sport creates huge IMPACT, every girl CAN and deserves to experience the positive benefits that sport has to offer."
Kim Angell, Running Activator and her Birstall Mum’s School Gate Beginner’s Running Group
Since starting her role as Running Activator (supporting Run England's Beginner Running Groups), lots of mum's at Kim's Primary School said they would love to give running a go. Kim started a number of School Gate Runs for beginners which was a great way for parents to drop their kids off at school, do 45mins of exercise and be back home by 10am!
Jennifer has autism and a language disorder which can make socialising very difficult; but she certainly doesn't let this hold her back in any way. Hockey has helped her gain lifelong friends who understand who she is and see her potential.
Jennifer plays for Leicester Ladies Hockey Club, umpires when she can, and coaches for Rutland Hockey School every week and sometimes for Leicester Ladies when needed. Jennifer is a Maths Tutor at Market Bosworth School and is Assistant Coach for Under 13 Girls at a Junior Academy Centre.
"There are challenges being an autistic adult and my social skills are still developing but given my past and present I feel that I have something unique to offer as a This Girl Can Champion.
I very much enjoy volunteering so I decided to sign up to see if I could be a Games Maker for London 2012, which I did as a Transport Team Member at the Riverbank Arena with the hockey. This gave me some new friends and a new insight to life and a great experience.
Currently at Leicester Hockey club I am the 4th Team Captain and I feel appreciated for the first time in my life and as though I do have something to be proud of. Sport has created me."
Maryam has always encouraged her daughter to enjoy some fun and fresh air, and started riding her bike regularly five years ago. This led to Maryam becoming a Cycling Instructor, Breeze Champion and Ride Leader for British Cycling. Maryam is the membership secretary for a Breeze-inspired, women's cycling club in the East Midlands – Leicester Women's Velo. She hopes that her own story will inspire many more women to take up cycling, whether it be for sport or commuting. One of Maryam's passions is to challenge the belief still held by many that cycling is not an appropriate hobby or mode of transport for women. Maryam is very passionate about voicing the need for provision for women, especially in the Asian community, and offer as much support as she can to every single woman she comes across who is hoping to get involved in the sport.
"You don't need any fancy equipment; all you need is two wheels and away you go!"
"My family likes to tell the story of how I learnt to run before I could walk and looking back at my sporting life I'm inclined to believe them! I started off my sporting life competing in cross country and joining a local athletics club at the age of 7. I moved through different events finally settling on the Triple Jump and competing at a National Level.
As well as athletics, I competed in Netball and Hockey and trained in Olympic Lifting. Now, 18 years on I still lift, training 5-6 times a week and I've recently started Yoga and Muay Thai! I love the way training makes me feel and I love being strong. It's like Ronda Roussey said, my body was built for a purpose, it wasn't just made to look pretty."
Sarah did not enjoying PE at school and found it hard to find an exercise style that suited her, although she did occasionally play doubles badminton with family.
Since attending the This Girl Can event, Sarah signed up to Sports Relief to run/walk three miles. Sarah actually discovered she liked running when previously she found it difficult to run around a 400m track at school. She got a pair of running shoes and carried on fitting in the odd 5k around playing badminton, which helped her to speed up on court.
Sarah entered into a fun 5k around Beacon Hill which was challenging but just a bit longer than 3 miles. She went to my local parkrun at Conkers which she used to monitor her time. Sarah has also signed up for a 10k as she wants to run further and push herself to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
I now have the confidence to try new sports such as wheelchair basketball, dodgeball and touch rugby. If the weather is nice of a weekend then I go cycling with my partner and enjoy exercise and being in the countryside!
I attended Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport's This Girl Can Event in March; it was a big step for me picking up a leaflet about exercise but it looked fun and I saw the T.V adverts and as it was a one-off event I didn't feel the pressure of signing up to something I couldn't keep committed to like the gym. The event game me confidence of trying new exercises and I felt as though I had the confidence to try new sports.