A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had been invited to attend the BloominGirls 1 day festival, which was exclusively for 14-17 year old girls (plus a couple of slightly older bloggers!) and was a mixture of fashion, beauty, music and neon fitness.
I wasn’t sure what to expect on the day, but it was so much fun!
The idea was that girls would come along and try out different sports in a supportive and fun environment, then after trying each sport they would receive a ‘treat’. So for instance, the first sport to try was hockey:
I haven’t played hockey for over 15 years, so it was a bit of a shock to the system! The girls from England Hockey were there to support and encourage as you made your way around the neon course. Not an easy feat in ballerina shoes! However, one of the ideas for the day was that you don’t necessarily have to wear sports clothing to get involved, and it’s true, you don’t. So, after trying the hockey I was allowed a ‘treat’. The choices included having my hair styled, a manicure, eye make-up lesson or lipstick application.
It was really great to see so many girls taking part and actually enjoying themselves. I think this was definitely helped by Neon Jungle who were there all day. They got completely involved in all the sessions and spent a lot of time talking to the girls, posing for photographs and encouraging them to join in with all the sports. A definite bonus!
Following the mini pampering session it was time to try another sport, so I opted for football.
I’m not a big fan of football, but it was really good fun, if a little sweaty! It wasn’t just straight football. There were fitness tips and tricks involved, and it was almost sad to realise how uncoordinated I am! The football was very popular with the girls and a lot of them had fantastic skills already.
After the football I was pretty tired (and sweaty!), so I didn’t try the rugby and netball, but they were also popular with the girls as the volunteers running the sessions included warm up aerobic moves with some dance steps. I really liked this as it makes it much more engaging and enjoyable rather than straightforward, traditional sport that tends to put off a lot of girls.
If all that sport and pampering wasn’t enough, there was also the chance to look at some fantastic new collections from boohoo.com I am a complete magpie and was especially tempted by the sequin tops below. As well as showing that sport doesn’t have to be ‘boring’ and ‘traditional’, the clothes below show you that sports clothes don’t have to be the stereotypical lycra leggings and vest.
To get more girls involved in sport, I believe that an important part of it is for them to feel comfortable, even fashionable, in what they are wearing. This might sound a little bit vein, but I actually think that if something as simple as a funky top can boost their self-esteem, they are much more likely to then get involved, and as I know, exercise is one of the biggest boosters for self-esteem out there.
I really hope this event runs again next year. If there had been something like this when I was at school I really believe I would have felt more inclined to get involved and try different sports, rather than dreading PE every week. Not all girls are naturally sporty and some need the support and encouragement to have a go without feeling embarrassed.
I thought the event was a complete success and can’t wait to see what happens next. But if I’m invited to attend again I think I’ll bring my trainers!