Research has shown that if women can identify themselves in advertising they are more likely to manage the fear of judgment associated with being physically active.

Since its début in 2015, the immensely successful This Girl Can campaign - funded by Sport England's National Lottery - has encouraged over 3 million women and girls of all shapes, sizes and levels of ability to get more active through motivating videos and community engagement.


"Red faced, sweaty, out of time, jiggly, super-fast or super slow…," so goes the chant of the real women and girls - ages 14 to 60+ - of the This Girl Can campaign, as they play sports and get active, with an intent to overcome judgement through messages like "it’s OK to sweat, it’s OK to jiggle, it’s OK not to be brilliant (or to be brilliant!) and it’s normal for life to get in the way sometimes." The ad also features a mantra series and a powerful voiceover by iconic poet Maya Angelou reading her poem Phenomenal Women

Among the particular phenomenal women showcased are 15-year-old trampolinist, Cerys McIntosh; 69-year-old cold water swimmer Sue Bairstow; new mum Stephanie Outlaw; roller derby player Lydia “Deadly DeVito”; student kickboxer Fakhira Mohamad Hassan Mukhtar; and teenage sisters Bleta and Londrita, Ju-Jitsu black and brown belts. 

According to Sport England CEO, Jennie Price, This Girl Can has made a real difference since it launched, with the number of women doing regular physical activity and sport now at an all-time high. But there’s a lot more to do.

Our research showed the dialogue many of us have in our heads about whether we look OK, whether we are good enough, whether we belong here doesn’t go away - we just learn to manage it. That’s why the reinforcement of seeing women who look like us playing sport and talking honestly about how they feel about it is so powerful.

A new message this time is something women don’t usually hear: "it’s OK to take a break, to have a week off, to walk not run. No-one is saying this to us. Few magazines say it; sports brands don’t say it."

Women around the world can pledge their support and capture their own This Girl Can mantra image for social media using the web-based app.

More online here and on their You Tube channel.