BONNYVILLE – A local program is looking to empower girls through fitness, sports, and fun.
Girls in Sport was launched at the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre at the beginning of July.
According to Victoria Bird, fitness and recreation manager at the C2, it was developed with the hope of encouraging teens to live a healthy lifestyle.
“It was developed through conversations about girls that age, 13 to 17-years-old, that drop out of sports and athletics or even just being active,” she told Lakeland This Week. “We wanted to create a program to encourage them to stay in sports or be active throughout the summer months.”
Girls in Sport is led by program ambassador and hockey player Brooke Skrypichayko, and C2 trainer Natalie Chappell, in the gym at the Centennial Centre every Tuesday starting at 7 p.m.
“Our biggest thing was just making it fun while focusing on fitness, friendship, and females,” Bird stressed. “We wanted to give the sports enthusiasts and fitness fanatics a place to come and to stay engaged in those things, but also, it’s for the inexperienced (people) and the beginners as well. Young women who are interested in the gym setting or learning more about fitness, giving them an outlet to come and check it out with the guidance of a trainer, Natalie, along with Brooke for encouragement, as well.”
The program isn’t a fitness class. The group meet in the gym to learn different fundamentals when it comes to individual workouts and what might work best for someone.
“We’re inside the gym with the gym equipment, learning the foundation of lifting, form, and agility,” Bird detailed. “We’re really creating the foundation of movement for people that everyone should have, just to make sure that they’re not going to hurt themselves in the future doing anything.”
When asked why she wanted to put a program like this in place, Bird said she believes it’s an opportunity to set young people up to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Bird hopes the program will be a place where young women can “gain confidence in fitness, learn the gym environment and equipment that we have, and learn the fundamentals in lifting, your form, and agility.”
“We’re kind of empowering girls through sport and fitness, creating that friendship and group atmosphere where you believe in yourself but support others while being supported and encouraged by the group,” she continued. “We’re combining the athletic and personal development of young women in our community.”
So far, Bird said the program has been well received and there’s even been interest in it being expanded to include older age groups in the future.
“We’ve had some really good feedback from the young women in our community and we’ve even had some adult women giving us feedback that it would be nice to have something like this,” she said, adding she also has plans of creating a Boys in Sport program if there’s enough interest.
“I’d like to do both because I feel like there are young men out there who are in the same stage of life and looking to stay active or may be curious about the gym, as well. Hopefully, we can do that next year because this was a pilot project.”
There are already plans in the works to bring Girls in Sport back next year.
The program is free for members of the C2, and drop-in rates apply for non-members.