Us Girls Wales celebrates milestone 2,000th member with Us Girls Rocks event

Cardiff played host to a monumental Us Girls Rocks celebration to mark the 2,000th member for Us Girls Wales. 

Aimed at girls aged between 13 to 19, Us Girls has had a big impact since its launch last May (2015) and Sam Gator, a 14 year old from Caerphilly has become the 2,000th Us Girls member.

 Sam attends Risca Comprehensive and lives with her foster parents in Caerphilly. Originally shy and unsure about taking part in the Us Girls sessions, Sam now attends two local Us Girls hubs, one in Bedwas and the other in Lansbury and participates in a variety of different sports, including Basketball, Touch Rugby, Circuits, Netball and Dance.

Encouraged by Us Girls Big Sisters local volunteers who have helped build her confidence and engagement, Sam is now one of the regular faces in these sessions and is being encouraged to lead within her favourite activity of Netball.

Sam said: “Thanks to Us Girls and the Big Sisters I’ve become much more confident and eager to try new sports. Without the Big Sisters’ constant support and encouragement, I would not be the person that I am today.

"Taking part in these sessions has not only helped me with engaging in sports but it has also helped me be much more confident in school.”

The Us Girls Rocks event was held at the Cardiff and Vale College on Sunday 17th April and offered 25 different activities that the girls could participate in, ranging from WRU Women’s rugby, British Rowing and Glow Sports. Over 200 girls aged between 13 and 19 from across Wales attended the event, showcasing the success and positive effects of the Us Girls initiative.

Talking about the success of the event, Jess Morgan, Us Girls Wales Manager, said: “We are extremely proud of what Sam has achieved and are delighted she is our 2,000th member within the Us Girls initiative. The Us Girls Rocks event was not only a celebratory occasion but also a showcase of what we have managed to achieve in our first year.

“The future of Us Girls is very bright as we are growing day by day with more and more girls wanting to take part in sessions and with interest in the Big Sisters program also thriving. This means that we are on the way to making a huge difference in the level of girls participating in sports throughout Wales and breaking down barriers.”

Local champion and entrepreneur Jessica Bennett

Jessica Bennett has recently been awarded Local Champion for the Us Girls Project.

In July 2015, whilst living at Ty Fesen (short term family accommodation), Jessica Bennett joined the Caerphilly Us Girls project with Creazione. On a weekly basis, Jessica would attend an Us Girls session at Creazione Village participating either in a gym workout or a studio based class. Since joining, Jess has appreciated the importance and benefits of exercise and has changed to a healthy lifestyle. Further to this, Jessica is now studying for her Gym Level 2 qualification to become a fitness instructor to provide training opportunities for girls within the community as an Us Girls Big Sister, volunteering for weekly sessions, fundraising projects and Us Girls Rocks events.

She said: "I started Us Girls after giving birth to my son and my physical activity participation was very minimal. The Us Girls programme has given me the motivation to get healthier along with a sense of belonging to a great group of people who are there to support, motivate and help me, whilst giving me opportunities to further and better myself.”

Jessica’s initial business plan is to work with girls from deprived backgrounds and unfortunate circumstances, offering physical activity sessions such as Booty Camps and kettlebell classes. She will work with girls and women who are homeless or living in short term living accommodation. She is also working on developing her planning through Us Girls Simply Do App, to ensure a strong business plan moving forward. 

Micro-Business, Pink Belt

The Pink Belt Kickboxing Programme is a unique opportunity for Women of all ages, shapes, sizes and any fitness levels to enrol on a kick ass journey into the world of Fitness and Martial Arts; powered by Universal Martial Arts Training and endorsed by WAKO GB Course Director, Marc Edwards.

Marc Edwards has already trained up female volunteers to deliver the Pink Belt programme into their communities. Pink Belt sessions and training aim to increase physical activity through self-defense classes as well as increasing levels of confidence and self-belief.

Marc has written Pink Belt especially for the Us Girls project with a goal to engage inactive females throughout Wales. Pink Belt has already initiated business links with Welsh colleges and Newport projects and is looking to offer female self-defense sessions throughout our schools. This Micro-business is ready for SLA process.

Pink Belt Kickboxing Programme

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