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#ThisGirlCan with Active Newcastle

A few months ago, while I was sat on the sofa stuffing my face with cheese and biscuits and enjoying a nice glass of wine, an advert came on the telly that grabbed my attention, gave me goosebumps and had me reconsidering that last bit of brie! Now that’s no mean feat let me tell you!

I put down the cheese and picked up my phone to search for the hashtag #ThisGirlCan on Twitter and discovered women of all ages, shapes and abilities proudly declaring how they were getting active, despite their fear of exercise or what other people might think about them while they were doing it.

Photo credit: Sport England

Photo credit: Sport England

Finally, this was a campaign about exercise that was acknowledging real women like me and I really felt inspired by it!

Fast forward to Sunday 8th March, which just so happened to be International Women’s Day and I find myself in the glitzy Banqueting Hall at Newcastle Civic Centre. I was surrounded by ambassadors for the #ThisGirlCan campaign, enjoying a lovely afternoon tea and making my own pledge to be more active!

The event was organised by Active Newcastle to say thank you to everyone who has played a part in inspiring women across the city, including local ambassadors like the Welbeck Warriors, Lisa O’Keefe from Sport England and fitness trainer (and star of The Apprentice) Katie Bulmer-Cooke.

civic centre

So what right did I have to be rubbing shoulders with these influential and dynamic women? Well, it just so happens that I’m an ambassador for #ThisGirlCan too! Yes, me, the cheese loving, wine swigging, wobbles when she runs, size 12!

Not only have I promised to get off the sofa and experience some of the exciting activities on offer through Active Newcastle, I’ve also featured in a little video to encourage other women to do the same, which was played on a mahoosive screen at the launch event (cringe!)

See if you can spot some of the stunning locations throughout Newcastle in the vid…

I’m so excited to try out some new sports like Aquarunning, Powerhoop and jazz dancing and thanks to the #ThisGirlCan campaign I’m not going to worry about getting it wrong or how big my bum looks in lycra!

You can check out loads of sports and activities taking place across Newcastle at and to find out more about our beautiful parks and outdoor spaces that are perfect for walking, running and cycling click

Plus don’t forget to share your own experiences using hashtag #ThisGirlCan

By Rachel Kershaw

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About Author

Rachel Kershaw

I'm a proud ambassador for all that's great about Geordieland and love sharing the best of what NewcastleGateshead has to offer. I may not be a Geordie born and bred but I've lived here for a over a decade and am proud to call this fabulous region my home!


  1. Brilliantly well done! I love this campaign at a size 16-18 I find exercise intimidating but I’m trying really hard to conquer my hesitations! #nebloggers

    • Thanks Karen! Sport England research found that fear of being judged was the biggest factor putting women off sport but I reckon it’s about time us girls started supporting each other don’t you? I hope you overcome your barriers and find a form exercise you enjoy, give me a shout if you fancy joining at me jazz dance class 😉

  2. Wow! You amazing lady … so brave being filmed running and you look fantastic 🙂 I love this campaign, it’s brilliant! I run 3 miles three times a week, which isn’t far but I’m proud of myself because a few months ago I could only run for about 10 minutes before I had to stop and walk for a bit, I’m attempting to build it up in the hope that one day I’ll be able to run 10k! My next mission is to attempt the Park Run at Saltwell Park .. my first outdoors run!

    Chloe x

    • Thanks Chloe, the filming was quite scary as I run like Phoebe from friends but the shots turned out OK thanks to a great director and the lovely sunny quayside! I was talking to some runners at the event as in all honesty I really struggle to run for very long before I get a bit bored so I’m hoping I’ll discover my passion for exercise through some of the fun classes I’m going to try. Good luck with your running targets x

  3. Hey that’s brilliant! And there’s nothing wrong with cheese and wine as part of a healthy lifestyle!! Well done you!

  4. This is amazing Rachel – I love the video, so inspiring as are you! Super brave being filmed running along the quayside but it has a powerful message. Love the #ThisGirlCan campaign. Well done on being part of this. Love it! xx

  5. Well done you. I love the video and you look great. The whole campaign is really inspring

  6. Fab post honey! I’d love to try aquarunning. The This Girl Can Campaign is so inspiring, especially to a plus size girl like me xxx

  7. This looks amazing. I love the This Girl Can campaign, its just so positive for everyone. It must be wonderful to know that you’re part of it!

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