February Club of the Month!
Goalsetting through the power of sport is one of the core ways in which Girls Win empowers young women.
The London-based programme is run by The Change Foundation and provides a safe space for young women with a disability between the ages of 16 and 25.
Getting active through sport and activities such as dance is a big part of the weekly offerings but that’s far from all that Girls Win do.
Making new friends and setting goals are two major components that are weaved into the sessions, meaning sport is just the start.
These are a few of the reasons why Girls Win in Sutton has been named Parasport’s Club of the Month for February, with programme manager Maddy Ford accepting the award.
“It means a lot! It’s so important because we work with a group of people who are not normally engaged in sport,” Maddy said.
“Young women a lot of the time are not really into sport at the age of 16-25, then you have young women with additional needs and there’s even less opportunity.
“It’s about giving the young people opportunities to be active, make new friends and develop themselves through goalsetting.
“We provide a really safe, fun and friendly environment. It’s very inclusive so anybody is welcome, and everybody is able to have fun.”
Maddy was a young person accessing another programme within the charity who has now become more involved as a coach mentor.
That relatability is a refreshing part of the sessions which allows the young women to feel listened to and understood.
As well as using sport and activities, other life skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership are focused on.
Making smoothies and trying healthy foods are examples of this brought to life but the group also allows the girls to express themselves through arts and crafts which can help manage stress and anxiety.
Meeting new people, and the social community created ensure these young women stay engaged, and for Maddy that’s a crucial part of the programme.
“We believe our clubs around London really help to integrate the communities,” Maddy added.
“A lot of the young people that we work with are at an age where they’re transitioning from school to college and to work, so they’re in a time of their life with a lot of change.
“Sometimes they lose some of the connections that they had. They leave school and they might not have that place to go to anymore and they may feel a little bit isolated in their communities.
“It’s about bringing them out into the community, being social, learning healthy ways of living and ultimately facilitating personal growth.
“We have had such success with the girls making a lot of new friends and they really enjoy the sessions and come back every week.”
If you’re interested in getting involved with Girls Win, take a look at the following opportunities: