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Girls United

Girls United was a project led by Stockton Schools’ Sport Partnership (SSP) working with Tees Active and Stockton Borough Council’s Sport & Active Lives Team. It was funded by Sport England through Tees Valley Sport.

The project was designed to help improve girls’ enjoyment of sport & physical activity, increase the amount time that girls are active each week and encourage girls to use physical activity to have a positive impact on their confidence, self-esteem, and mental health.

Girls United Project Summary

Project Date

This was the first of three planned events between February and July which will involve 80 girls from 8 different secondary schools coming together for three face-to-face events at different Tees Active Leisure Centres in the borough. At these sessions, the girls had a opportunity to take part in a variety of different activities and learn about the benefits of being active and the importance of self-belief and positive body image.

Event 1

The first Girls United event was held at Billingham Forum and an opening workshop delivered by Rachel McKenzie focused on the benefits of physical activity and its impact on mental health. The girls then had an intensive programme of taster sessions which included, Clubbercise. Archery. Kinball and Boxercise. To finish a very successful day the girls had the option to test their climbing skills in Go Climb or cool down in the Ice Arena and 2 ice skating professionals were on hand to pass on their expertise to any nervous skaters.

Event 2

The second Girls United event was held at Thornaby Pavilion and started with a workshop on the benefits of physical activity. Pupils from 9 Stockton secondary schools were involved and the girls had a choice of a activities to participate in which included Netball, Dodgeball, Short Tennis ,Badminton, Dance, Self Defence ,Archery and Indoor Bowls

Event 3

The Third event was a celebration Bell boating regatta held at Tees Barrage International White Water Centre to celebrate the end of the project and enable participants to enjoy a fun event whilst socialising with girls from different schools.

Funding Partners

Due to the success of the project Tees Active were able to access funding from Tees Valley Sport (via Sport England) and Thornaby Communities have also been able to obtain funding from Thornaby Town Council which  enabled the sessions to continue throughout the Autumn/Winter/Spring period of 2023/24.

Project Outcomes & Outputs

98% increased activity levels

98% of the girls said they had increased their activity levels since attending the first event back in February.

The theme of kindness was welcomed

The theme of kindness was welcomed and embraced. Good link between being kind to yourself with improved confidence and resilience.

The girls value the idea of making progress

They girls value the idea of making progress and enjoy activities when they feel they are good at them.

Better learning

The learning was better in terms of the benefits of physical activity.

Limited school clubs

The response from schools delivering an extra-curricular club specifically for these girls was mixed. Not all girls seemed to have an opportunity to take part in a new club at school.

Funding from Tees Valley Community Fund

The girls were very happy with their hoodies. Funding from Tees Valley Community Fund allowed us to purchase one for every student and the teachers.

0 %

of the girls felt that their views had been considered in the planning of the events

Girls United is an amazing way to help improve girls’ enjoyment of sport and physical activity. Since the start of the project the girls confidence has improved and it’s great to see the positive impact Girls United has had. 

Legacy and Future partnerships

Girls United provided valuable insight to the design of a physical activity project which would appeal to young girls who had previously become disengaged in respect of physical activity.

Girls United also reinforced the partnership work between Tees Active and Stockton Schools Partnership.

Since the end of Girls United Tees Active and the Schools partnership have worked on projects such as Active 60 and the Stockton Schools Bell boating Regatta.

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