This Girl Can campaign set to launch in London on International Women’s Day

  • Research* shows two million fewer women than men are active and that the fear of judgement is the primary barrier preventing them being more active.
  • 67% of women in London want to become more active.
  • London Sport will bring This Girl Can to the capital, launching the campaign on International Women’s Day, 8th

London is one of 9 cities in England to bring the national This Girl Can campaign to local women on International Women’s Day. Through our partners and our activity finder, Get Active London, we want to celebrate the activities taking place all over London and get more women more active.

The latest Active People Survey, carried out by Sport England, reveals that only 30.6% of women in London take part in sport or physical activity at least once a week, compared to 43% of their male counterparts.

London’s women have been inspired by This Girl Can and many local organisations have responded to this increased demand by providing engaging, judgement-free activities. London Sport has selected 9 of these organisations to support and showcase their impactful work on and around International Women’s Day on the 8th of March.This Girl Can and London Sport Full Figured Fitness
London Sport have rounded up the most exciting opportunities in the capital to get women wiggling and jiggling on this International Women’s Day without the fear of judgement, and are sharing more than 400 female-only activities on our Get Active London activity finder, which also includes free classes.

Peter Fitzboydon, CEO of London Sport said: “London Sport is proud to support the national This Girl Can campaign on a local level; helping organisations meet the increased demand for new and innovative activities that the campaign has created. We have been able to promote the great work these organisations are doing to increase participation by women and girls and ,crucially, have helped them meet these new demands with more resources and less bureaucracy.”

One of the chosen organisations is Full Figured Fitness which has truly grasped the essence of the This Girl Can campaign. Offering sessions delivered by, and tailored to, larger women in a judgement-free environment. Director, Lauretta Johnnie, said: “Obesity is the most preventable disease. Exercise is key to tackling obesity and inactivity. We have created an environment where people can exercise, dance, burn fat, improve their stamina and strength. But also build their confidence and have fun!”

For more about the This Girl Can campaign in London and the projects, go to where you can find out about female-only opportunities in London, local women who have been inspired by the campaign and join the conversation using #ThisGirlCan #London



Please see the list of funded organisations and their IWD activities below.

Date Venue Time Activity
2nd March Newham Sixth Form College TBC Us Girls Rocks Festival
Saturday 7th March Newham Leisure Centre 12:00-16:00 Us Girls Rocks Festival,  taster sessions, massages and beauty treatments with signposting for community activities
Bridge Park Community Leisure Centre, Brent TBC Us Girls Rocks Festival
Sunday 8th March – Hilly Fields Park, Brockley, Lewisham TBC 4 week beginners Nordic technique walking course
Fulham Library 12:00-16:00 Women’s Health and Well Being Day
IWD Careers and networking event, Haringey TBC TBC
Mile End Stadium, Tower Hamlets from 12:00 – 14:00 Mother and Daughter Bike Ride
TBC TBC Climbing activity
Monday 9th March Our Parks, Dron Community Hall, Tower Hamlets 9.30am start Yoga
Wed 11th March Tower Hamlets Community College 17:00 20:00 Girls Multi-sport taster session and beauty workshops
IWD Careers and networking event, Haringey TBC Dance performance and presentation on achievements
Thu 12th March St Pauls Way Centre, Tower Hamlets 12 noon Hula hoop fitness
Sat 14th March Whitechapel Sports Centre 14:00 -16:00 CASI Girls Football
Mile End Leisure Centre 10:00 – 14:00 Basketball Tournament
15th March Hilly Fields, Brockley, Lewisham TBC Nordic Walking mother and daughter session

For further information, logos, images or interviews please contact:

Katharina Rupprich, London Sport, Tel: 0207 8157876,


Notes to editors:

About London Sport

A new not-for-profit sports agency, London Sport has been created to ensure London takes advantage of the London Olympic and Paralympic 2012 Legacy opportunity, and helps inspire more people to be physically active. London Sport plays a fundamental role setting the strategic direction and ambition for sport in London on behalf of Sport England and the Mayor of London.

*Research Source: Sport England – Active People Survey 8

Research and insight behind This Girl Can

Sports participation

  • 6.8m women in England play sport once a week
  • 8.8m men in England play sport once a week
  • 75% of women want to play more sport than they currently do.

Source: Sport England’s Active People Survey 8.

  • The UK is 3rd out of 27 European countries when it comes to boys participating in sport. For girls, it’s 19th.

Source: Eurobarometer Special Surveys sport and physical activity report

Fear of judgement

We reviewed existing research and talked to real women of all ages, right across the country, to find out what is holding them back from exercising more. We identified a fresh and unifying insight – the fear of judgement. Whether it’s fear of judgement about appearance, ability, or for spending time on yourself rather than with family, the fear of judgement outweighs women’s confidence to exercise. It is the fear of judgement which is causing the divide between women wanting to exercise, but not having the confidence to do it.

Appearance: Right from an early age, appearance is a concern for women when it comes to exercise. 36 per cent of the least active girls agreed that they felt like their body was on show in PE, and that this made them like PE less, [WSFF, Changing the Game for Girls] and 1 in 4 women say they “hate the way I look when I exercise or play sport” [WSFF It’s Time report] – women are most likely to say they aren’t confident about their body when doing sport. [Active People Survey 6].

Ability: Again, from an early age, ability is a concern for women. Over a quarter of girls say they don’t feel that they have the skills to do well in sport. [WSFF, Changing the Game for Girls] Confidence in their skills is lower amongst girls who are less physically active. [WSFF, Changing the Game for Girls] Women also tend to have a more conservative view on their abilities than men and are particularly negative about their running speed, whereas men are over optimistic about their hand-eye coordination with over half thinking they are better than average. [Active People Survey 6] 33 per cent of say they feel too unfit to get fit, [WSFF It’s Time report] and 48 per cent of girls say that getting sweaty is not feminine. [WSFF, Changing the Game for Girls]

Family: Many mums would like to exercise, but the fear of being judged for putting yourself first is a barrier. 81 per cent of mothers with children under 15 prioritise spending time with their families over getting fit, [She Moves research] and 44 per cent of mums say they feel guilty if they spend time on themselves. [She Moves research] 22 per cent of young mums are active once a week which is below the national average of 31 per cent, [At least once a week’ sports participation from Sport England’s Active People results for the 12 months to April 2014] but 72 per cent of inactive young mums would like to participate in sport and exercise more. [At least once a week’ sports participation from Sport England’s Active People results for the 12 months to April 2014]