Girls inspired to lead as physical activity ambassadors

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Female Ambassador programme for schools

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) have teamed up for the third year in a row to host a Physical Activity Ambassador Leadership Day for female students at Dromore Community Centre.

Funded by the Public Health Agency, and led by ABC Council and the SHSCT, this programme is designed to inspire students to create targeted campaigns that encourage and support their peers to become active, irrespective of age, ability, and shape.

This year’s event welcomed 23 girls aged 12-15 years from New-Bridge Integrated College, Banbridge High School and Killicomaine Junior High School. The students took part in interactive workshops, fun physical activity sessions and team-building exercises designed to develop their leadership skills and confidence to positively influence and inspire their peers to be more active.

New to this year’s programme is the ‘I Can Lead’ award, developed by the Leadership Skills Foundation, which all ambassadors will be working towards over the course of the academic year to achieve their certificates.

Speaking about the programme, Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley commented:

“We know from the research that teenage girls are more likely to disengage and drop-out from sport and physical activity during their teenage years. Initiatives such as this are so important to ensure girls are actively engaged with the design and delivery of activities that will lead to improved opportunities that appeal to all girls.

“I am delighted to see that this programme has continued to build on the successes of the first two years and I wish all the girls involved in the programme every success in their physical activity ambassador roles.”  

Following on from the leadership day, the girls will now act as role models and leaders within their school to drive improved marketing and delivery of new physical activities, which appeal to a wider range of girls.

Southern Health and Social Care Trust Physical Activity Lead, Clare Drummy, added:

“Children here have the lowest physical activity levels throughout the UK. For this reason, we’re committed to supporting girls to become more active in a way that suits them, so this can be sustained into adulthood.

We know that peer support has the greatest influence on teenage girls, which is why we are recruiting physical activity ambassadors to support and encourage girls in their schools to be active.” 

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