This Girl Can campaign to hit Hertfordshire

This Girl Can in Herts 2015 launch

This Girl Can in Herts 2015 launch - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire is embracing female sport with the This Girl Can in Herts Week 2015 later this month (October 16-25).

Ruby Codiroli with Arsenal Ladies and England player Jordan Nobbs

Ruby Codiroli with Arsenal Ladies and England player Jordan Nobbs - Credit: Archant

The aim is to get as many women as possible in the county taking part in sport on the back of Sport England’s national This Girl Can campaign, which is being localised by the Herts Sports Partnership.

The Herts initiative was officially launched at the Arsenal FC training ground on Monday.

Arsenal Ladies and England footballer Jordan Nobbs, Saracens RFC and England’s Georgia Peedle, formerly of Welwyn RFC, and Stevenage Ladies’ Donna McGuigan, who works at Tesco headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, were special guests.

Herts-based teenage swimmer Ruby Codiroli, who has Down’s syndrome, features in the national advertising campaign and was also at the launch.

Georgia Peedle

Georgia Peedle - Credit: Archant

There are wide range of reasons for taking part in sport whether it is socially, to improve health, for fun or for competitiveness.

Sport England’s Hannah Blaydon said: “What we are learning from the insight, broader than the campaign, is that we can’t just blanket assume that everyone is desperately trying to do fun, competitive sporty activities in a traditional manner.

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“We often need to have a bespoke, much more tailored, much more considered approach around the individual and the experience that someone wants to have.”

The full programme, of more than 180 sports and fitness sessions from roller skating to pole dancing and netball to football, on offer is available on the website.

Stevenage Ladies footballer Donna McGuigan

Stevenage Ladies footballer Donna McGuigan - Credit: Archant

Speaking of her introduction to rugby and hopes for the campaign, Peedle, said: “I started playing rugby about nine years ago when a local coach came to my school said ‘come over and give it a try’ and I didn’t look back.

“There’s something out there for everyone, it makes me feel really empowered to do sport so hopefully it will have that effect on everyone else.”

McGuigan added: “It’s [the campaign] challenging stereotypes and encouraging people to be excited about sport no matter the age, no matter your size.

“It should be encouraged that women get involved in sport, it’s not just elite athletes, it’s the great effect of being part of a team, mentally stimulating and getting active through it.”

Nobbs, said: “I think it’s crucial now [that women take part in sport and exercise].

“When the [This Girl Can] advert came out everyone wanted to watch it and be inspired by it.

“There’s not many times I go out and don’t see a woman jogging down the road now which I think a long time ago that wouldn’t have happened.

“It’s also crucial that when women get involved and they have children they then naturally look up to them.

“If they see their mum exercise it’s something they will want to have a career in it or just be fit and healthy.”

This Girl Can is a national campaign developed by Sport England and a wide range of partnership organisations.

It’s a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets.