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Get Out Get Active leads the way with women’s cycling

Today, This Girl Can, Sport England’s award-winning campaign to help women get active, launches its next phase focusing on tackling the exercise Enjoyment Gap. In Nottingham, Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is creating opportunties for disabled and non-disabled women to be active together and make new friends through female cycling sessions - delivered by Nottingham City Council and RideWise.Young girl on a bike.In 2015, This Girl Can changed the game. Sport England inspired 2.9 million women to get active in all their sweaty, jiggly glory. 

But despite this progress, there is still more to do.

This Girl Can’s new campaign phase, ‘This Girl Can With You’, is a call-to-arms to sport and activity providers to dismantle the barriers that contribute to the Enjoyment Gap.

Research shows that the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis have had a disproportionate impact on women. Meaning they have less to spend on weekly budgets and less time to spend on themselves. As a result, their activity levels have fallen and show little sign of recovery. 2.4 million fewer women than men strongly agree that they enjoy getting active. This is what This Girl Can calls the Enjoyment Gap.

The Enjoyment Gap is not inevitable and is completely fixable by challenging the practical and structural obstacles that make activity feel less welcoming for women. Focusing on making activity more safe, social, self-affirming and suitable for women.

GOGA Nottingham female cycling sessions 

In Nottingham, our GOGA partner Nottingham City Council is working alongside RideWise to offer free cycling sessions to disabled and non-disabled women who are struggling with their confidence.

Watch GOGA video about female cycling sessions in Nottingham 

As many participants weren’t confident cyclists, it was important to create a safe and welcoming environment for them. The sessions were held at an indoor venue, where bikes and helmets were available. The running times for each session were also extended to help participants build their confidence.

It quickly became clear that participants need a lot more support, as many had never been on a bike before. So, Nottingham City Council and RideWise decided to run the sessions for a further 12 weeks. 

Since the scheme launched, the sessions have been immensely popular. The majority of participants are Muslim women and their children, who have never been able to access bikes before.

The feedback from participants has been hugely positive, and many have noted the indoor venue and the patience and flexibility of the instructors as the best parts of the scheme.

As the programme goes from strength to strength, many women and their children are becoming more and more invested in cycling.

The team are now looking to create a less intensive yearly programme with confidence-building drop-ins for participants. These sessions will continue to build confidence and encourage participants to access mainstream cycling services.

This story is part of our campaign, #TheGOGAWay. Showing how the GOGA approach can help organisations do things differently across the UK.

About Get Out Get Active

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Foundation.

Find out more about Get Out Get Active here.