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GOGA Bradford launch packs a punch!

Julie Bunnage

The Bradford Get Out Get Active (GOGA) launch will always be special for me, it was my first visit to one of the localities in my capacity as Project Manager GOGA at Women in Sport.

I had met Karla Burton, Inclusive Sport Officer, Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure (BDSL) the previous week whilst learning about “What Sways Women to Play Sport?” during the Insight: On Tour workshop in Leeds. Karla and I talked about the plans for the launch and how she was inspired to implement one or two of the insights into the GOGA programme.

Getting involved in the GOGA launch, really helped me to understand Bradford’s unique set up in their quest to change the way women and girls engage in physical activity in Bradford. It brought the whole dynamic of the community to life for me.

Enthusiastic delivery partners were keen to tell me about their achievements in helping women and girls to enjoy activity and their aspirations to reach more people through inclusive sessions.

Unorthobox, led by Sarah-Jane was a real hit with the ‘drop- in’ participants. It appealed to individuals wanting to get fitter, to families exercising together and to those who just wanted to have fun. Women in Sport research suggests that women choose to take part in activity for a variety of reasons, it seems that Unorthobox’s delivery is meeting those needs.

Dance co-ordinator, Laura Liddon also explained that her priority at the launch was to make sure everyone felt included, irrespective of their ability, and if wearing a coat made a person feel comfortable that was fine too!

Over the coming months we will see if it’s a great formula for getting people active and keeping them active.For families with disabled children the mixed ability wheelchair sport sessions offer an ideal opportunity for everyone to take part together. One mum explained that she had never been able to take her 3 children to activities like swimming because her youngest son was disturbed by the noisy environment.

The family were made welcome and were encouraged to try wheelchair sport at their own pace. Using a sports chair for the first time released a new feeling of fun and freedom for her disabled son. This first positive experience has increased the likelihood of the family taking part again. Even better, the sessions will be held in a facility close to where they live in Keighley.It’s a privilege to be involved at the start of this innovative programme in Bradford. Over the next few months I’m really looking forward to working with Karla to collaborate on an ambitious plan and create sustainable opportunities for inactive women to enjoy being active, not only as participants but also as community ambassadors.

The mission begins – I’m glad We’re In.