Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign has been highly acclaimed – it’s said to have got 1.6 million women exercising, and won over 50 international awards. And it was voted by TWC readers as ‘Best Women’s Cycling Initiative’ – clearly the highest accolade available.
In 2017, the campaign aimed at smashing down barriers preventing women from exercising moves into a new phase that focus’ on older women.
The campaign began after Sport England found that worries over appearance and fears of being judged were major factors preventing women from exercising. They looked at the reasons women stopped being active at various points in their lives – and now they want to challenge women over 40 to get their hearts pumping.
The new ads feature older women, with taglines such as ‘this is how I get my teenage kicks’ and ‘a kick right in the stereotypes’.
Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said that the campaign still has a long way to go - explaining: "Most women still feel judged when they play sport or exercise. We feel guilty for stopping and starting, for hesitating, for not looking perfect. The women and girls in this campaign remind us that’s normal and create some strong images that we hope millions of women will relate to."
The campaign was created by FCB Inferno, and begins today with social media, digital ads and posters in prominant areas such as train stations. There will also be a TV ad, launching in February, that was directed by Kem Gehrig through Somesuch.
Al Young, chief creative officer at FCB Inferno said: "This time round we have focused on the roller coaster realities of the relationship with exercise – something that is rarely talked about. We are confident this will help even more girls and women manage their fear of judgement when getting active."
Responses to the campaign have been positive. Cycling journalist and regular TWC contributor Adele Mitchell commented: "So, #thisgirlcan is targeting women in their 50s and 60s in the new campaign. About time too. I was critical of the original
#thisgirlcan campaign for excluding older women. So obvs I'm taking full credit for the new campaign."
We look forward to seeing more women riding bikes in the upcoming ads!