This Girl Can is back with an updated campaign celebrating the many inventive ways women have stayed active during the pandemic, inspiring women to do the same through brilliant real-life stories.
Created by FCB Inferno and launched by Sport England in 2015, This Girl Can aims to close the gender gap around activity levels for men and women and is built around the insight that a fear of judgement – of not being good enough, of not looking the part, or of prioritising the wrong thing – is the unifying barrier preventing women from being as active as men.
The refreshed ad campaign features women from the original spot, along with some new faces, showing them fitting activity into their own lives – in their own way, and in their own time. It includes Katy, 43, who founded Blaze Trails, a community of walking parents and children during lockdown. Walking with her baby on her back and her toddler for company helped her cope with feelings of isolation in lockdown. There's also Aneesa, a 43-year-old mother of two from South London, who lost her income at the beginning of lockdown so started attending HIIT and dance sessions over Zoom instead. She's met an entire community of new women as a result.
"At the beginning of lockdown there was a sense there was a right way to do it," says Kate Dale, campaign lead for This Girl Can. "A feeling like we should all be starting new hobbies and getting very fit. But the reality for a lot of women is that we have more demands on our time and more financial and mental wellbeing challenges.
"We're back with This Girl Can celebrating the fact that there's no right way to get active – there never was. Just like there's no right way to do lockdown. We're celebrating all the women getting active in the ways that work for them, no matter what life throws in their way. Saying it's okay to do it when you want, how you want. The pandemic has given many of us a renewed appreciation for the benefits of mental and physical health. We hope the film will inspire other women to want to feel that joy of moving, whether they're jogging with their kids, squeezing in a HIIT session in between meetings or trying to walk instead of taking the bus to get their steps up."
The stars of the This Girl Can film will also be appearing on the Instagram feeds of leading social influencers and commentators including popular fitness YouTubers Lucy Wyndham-Read and Tally Rye, journalists Poorna Bell and Bryony Gordon, and comedienne and TV presenter Judi love. They have all given space within their channels to share the women's stories and drive conversations around women's experiences of keeping active during lockdown.