Vic Health's This Girl Can campaign is an annual campaign aimed at celebrating and supporting Victorian women to embrace physical activity in a way that suits you. Whether it’s a little or a lot, what matters is getting some movement into your day.
To celebrate This Girl Can Week, which runs from Monday 12 September - Sunday 18 September, we're holding free yoga sessions in Chiltern and Barnawartha on Saturday 17 September - all ages and abilities are welcome - the point is to get involved. We'd love to see you there - find the details here.
We’re also sharing inspiring stories of how local women, just like you, brought physical activity into their lives and how it has impacted them.
Try some footy
Rutherglen’s Murray Felines Football Club has the largest number of registrations for AFLW in North East Victoria. From long standing members to newcomers, the message is loud and clear: #thisgirlcan which means you can too.
Try some golf
Members of Yackandandah Golf Club had the following to share about getting out on the green:
- "There's more to golf than getting a birdie - it's the people you meet on the way."
- "We love golf because we meet great friends, have fun, and enjoy the scenery. We can play in a competition, or socially at times that suit us."
- "Get in the swing. It's a great feeling."
Have a hit of tennis
Molly, from Chiltern Tennis Club shared her thoughts on hitting the court - "I enjoy tennis because it is good for fitness, easy to play with friends and you only need one other person to play. I look forward to being able to play for lots more years."
Pick up a hockey stick
Grace, from Beechworth, has just been selected in the Under 13 Girls Victorian State Hockey Team. What a wonderful example of #thisgirlcan.
Grace says that "There may be people that have more talent than you but that's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you."
Get on your bike
Beechworth's Granite Girls program aimed to inspire more women to get involved in mountain bike riding. Members have shared their experiences on joining the program and the message is loud and clear - #thisgirlcan.
- “We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of this group. For me, I have met so many new people to get out socializing and exercising with. Having moved to Beechworth at the start of the pandemic, I knew so few people in the town and being part of this group has been a huge help. The skills coaching was a boost to my confidence and I have since joined local mountain bike races which weren’t even on my radar previously. I have increased my fitness to a level I have not been at in many years and I have learnt new skills and am exploring parts of the area that I didn’t know existed. Signing up for Granite Girls has been one of the best things I have done in a long time especially for my mental health and fitness.“ - Cath
- “Having recently moved to the area during the COVID pandemic, I felt isolated. I was having a hard time meeting people, and although I knew there was a wealth of trails to explore by bike and foot, I did not feel comfortable doing so by myself. Further I was not confident in my biking skills to feel safe on the trails and I had no idea where to start or even where to go. This isolation was taking a serious toll on my mental health, and was impacting my family life, my physical health, my performance at work and of course my mental resilience and well-being. I feel that participating in GG was the largest factor in helping me to overcome these issues. The Granite Girls program provided me with:
- A network of like-minded women with whom I can ride, but also with whom I can enjoy other activities, build friendships, and seek advice and support. Granite Girls created a welcoming and supportive community.
- Knowledge of trails in the local area that I can explore on my own or with my new riding buddies.
- Technical skills that have improved my riding, and allowed me to ride more confidently and more safely.
- Improved cardiovascular fitness and strength through regular social rides.
- Motivation to stay fit and strong.
- A thirst and excitement to explore and continue to improve my riding.
- A passion for riding around Beechworth and the desire to share my excitement with others.
- A desire to help maintain and protect the trail network so that riding can be done sustainably and with environmental sensitivity.
All of these positive outcomes improved my mental, physical and social well-being. I am certain that there are other people who could use the camaraderie and support of a program like Granite Girls, and that the benefits to participants extend well beyond simply learning how to ride a bike. “ - Flo
- “This inclusive program provided a platform to engage nervous but eager women into the world of mountain biking. I achieved great physical and fitness goals over the year, but also noticeable changes to my mental wellbeing from the increased time spent in nature and discovering hidden gems in my backyard. The program also helped to widen my social network and introduce me to many likeminded women. I also noticed my primary and kindergarten aged children become more motivated in their own riding, and keen to head out for more family rides with their newly confident mother!“ - Nell
- “Along with many others I was most fortunate to take part in the recent Granite Girls program. Through this program I learnt new skills and even though I was an absolute beginner I now have confidence in riding basic trails. This program has opened up opportunities to ride in beautiful areas that would previously have been inaccessible to me. I have become significantly more active and my mountain bike riding has been the motivation to resume a gym program and to even introduce basic jogging to my routine. My holidays and recreation now centre around mountain biking or other recreation whenever possible. As an example, I recently enjoyed a six day retreat in Derby further enabling me to meet new people and to enjoy active leisure time.
Through the Granite Girls program I have met a group of supportive people. I moved to Beechworth some three years ago and this program has helped me to build social connections and networks. As a result, I feel well connected to the Beechworth area and can not see myself moving away.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this program has been lifechanging for me. My fitness is trending in the right direction largely thanks to the impetus of this program.“ - Leanne
- “Signing up for the Granite Girls has been is the best thing I have done for years for my health and fitness. Some of the great things have been:
- the programme went for 6 months so long enough to realistically learn some skills, embed them and form a habit.
- it was a mix of skills sessions run by professional MTB coaches and rides led by the fantastic experienced volunteers from BCG.
- the rides enabled me to get to know the Beechworth MTB park and other bike routes that I could do by myself or with my family.
- It’s fantastic exercise.
- I love bike MTB & Gravel riding as I feel it’s safer for me off the main roads and it gets me out into nature which is very good for the soul.
- it was a wonderful opportunity to meet other people.
The formal programme has finished now but we have formed a Tuesday night regular riding group (we are still going even in winter in the dark!) and have a WhatsApp group to organise this and other rides. The health benefits have been truly holistic – fitness both cardio & strength, confidence in mastering something new, connecting with nature, socially making new friends." - Simone
Try some cricket
Mary is part of the Beechworth Wanderers and this girl can play! Mary can bat and bowl and just loves playing cricket.
Mary not only played in the U12 Boys team last season, she also played with the Beechworth Wanderers Open women’s team.
This hard work and determination has seen her selected and currently trialing with the U15 North East Knights U15 Premier team which will play in Melbourne for the Victorian State titles. This is a massive feat as Mary is on 11 years old #thisgirlcan
For more information about playing girls cricket keep an eye on the Beechworth Wanderers Facebook page.