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Empowering young women through Girls on the Move

Fiona Muir, Move Development Worker

Sport and physical activity
Girls on the Move aims to increase physical activity amongst girls and young women


Girls on the Move (GOTM) is a Youth Scotland project that aims to increase physical activity levels amongst girls and young women. It is supported by sportscotland as part of the Active Girls programme. As a Legacy 2014 project, the GOTM team have been working with young women from local communities to develop their leadership skills, improve confidence, focus on dance and sport and have fun.

GOTM held the Big Ideas Weekend in September 2014, which saw over 60 young women attend a residential in Edinburgh for those who had been involved with the project and had gained a qualification in leadership. Participants came from all over the country, from as far afield as Shetland.

The Big Ideas Weekend featured a range of physical activity workshops, including hip hop, contemporary dance, jazz, handball, boxing, judo and badminton. Participants developed leadership skills with workshops like team building, mentoring and by leading classes.

Inspiration was a big ingredient for the weekend. Handball athletes Hannah Keenan and Meghan McMahon spoke about their achievements, including how sport has helped them grow into confident young women and the importance of active lifestyles. Hannah was chosen to run in the Queen’s Baton Relay and Meghan was the Scottish U16’s captain.

I chatted with one of our youth workers who accompanied some of the participants. She said that one the highlights of her weekend was seeing a young girl, who she had  worked with for some time, get up in front of the group and singing on karaoke. The young girl was a quiet, shy individual, and for her to get up is a huge achievement, so we are so happy that the event can inspire people to get involved and gain confidence.

The Big Ideas Weekend raised awareness of inactivity amongst young women, allowed leaders across Scotland to come together to share experiences and gave them the opportunity to improve their knowledge and take new ideas back to their own sessions. This is turn has helped to develop physical activity provision in local communities, a key element of Legacy 2014.

To learn more about Girls on the Move, visit the Youth Scotland website, follow the project on Twitter or connect on Facebook.