Olympic boxing champion, Nicola Adams has thrown her weight behind a bid to get more girls into sport, donating £3,000 she won on TV’s Family Fortunes.
The Olympic gold medalist handed over the cash to the Us Girls initiative at an event at Royal Oak and Baguley boxing gym attended by pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe.
Nicola wasn’t the only top class athlete to attend the event, England and Everton player Amy Kane was also there having a kick around with the girls.
The event included a number of sporting activities aimed at encouraging young women aged 14 to 25 to get active and have some fun.
Us Girls is a Sport England-funded initiative that aims to get 30,000 young women living in disadvantaged areas more active, by providing them with opportunities to play sport within their local communities.
The initiative is being delivered by the Active Women Consortium, a body led by StreetGames and is receiving £2.3 million of National Lottery investment from Sport England as part of its ‘Active Women’ campaign to tackle the gender gap in sport.
Nicola said: “I’m looking forward to my role in helping Us Girls encourage more young women to enjoy sport and ensure Britain’s Olympic legacy continues. It was great to meet some of the Us Girls participants, answer their questions and tell them that sport can change their lives for the better.”
Laura Wild, head of PE at St Paul’s, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this monumental project which aims to deliver a far reaching legacy for women’s sport well beyond the London 2012 Olympic Games
“We introduced the Us Girls project at school in January and it is becoming more and more successful especially with the self defence and boxing skills activities. It was great for our pupils to have had the opportunity to meet Nicola Adams – a fantastic female athlete who was able to encourage the girls so they could see that taking part is really valuable. She is a great character and really engaged the participants, motivating them to do more and do better.”
Ms Wild added: “At Saint Paul’s, we have listened to our pupils about what type of sports interest them and as a results of introduced activities such as Zumba, roller skating, boxercise and aerobics. We have found that this has inspired female students to take part in more sport and physical activity.”
Head Teacher, Mr Wiktor Daron, said: “We are pleased to be involved with this pioneering new national scheme which has been designed to improve the well-being of young women. A key part of the programme will be to develop the girls’ confidence and self esteem as well as their sporting skills. I’m sure that Nicola Adams will have a massive impact on the charity and help engage with many more young women. We really need to show that sport is a fun thing for girls to do.”
Saint Paul’s have a successful Us Girls project which includes boxing, self-defence and Zumba. This takes place on Fridays at 5.30pm at the school. There is no cost involved for those who would like to participate. For further information please contact Saint Paul’s on 0161 437 5841.