Women and girls keen to give physical activity a go or return after a break can try sports including soccer, cricket, softball, golf and tennis at fun and free come-and-try sessions celebrating This Girl Can Week.
The City of Whittlesea has teamed up with local sports clubs to run the introductory sessions from March 22-28, as a way of encouraging women and girls to give sport a go in a safe, supportive environment.
The clubs and facilities involved include the Lalor Warriors Cricket Club, Doreen United Soccer Club, Epping Tennis Club, Cheetahs Softball Club, Growling Frog Golf Course and Thomastown Recreation and Aquatic Centre, which hosts the popular Women’s Swim Program.
The sessions are ideal for beginners, those returning to sport or looking for a new way to get active, allowing participants to learn new skills while connecting with other local women.
South Morang resident Cindy Duson encouraged women to give new sports a go, saying she was a perfect example of someone achieving success later in life.
Mrs Duson, 47, joined the Lalor Warriors Cricket Club last November, five years after having two heart attacks and a stent inserted.
When a friend mentioned she was going to play cricket, Mrs Duson – who enjoyed indoor cricket when she was younger – decided to tag along, persuading her daughter, Paige, 17, to go too.
Now, she is regarded as one of the best fielders in the local competition, with her statistics matching up against some of the top women in the country, including Brisbane Heat’s Georgia Redmayne and Adelaide Strikers’ Tegan McPharlin.
“Someone at my age thinking you can’t do it, you can. I’m the prime example of that,” Mrs Duson said.
Warriors President Nadia Falvo acknowledged “talking yourself into it” was often the hardest part for women thinking about trying a new sport.
“Get out there, try it, if it’s not your thing or you don’t like it, you’ll make some new friends at the least,” she said.
“Back yourself, really – I think that’s the main thing.”
This Girl Can is a VicHealth campaign which celebrates and supports women embracing physical activity in a way that suits them, aiming to encourage women of all ages, levels of ability, background, body shape and size to feel empowered to be physically active.