To celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March, we are sharing the success of our Unleash Your Potential project, a project aimed at increasing female participation in sport and physical activity.
On Saturday 22nd February, Team Surrey held their second of three #UnleashYourPotential Female Takeover events at Surrey Sports Park. The project is composed of three evenings across the academic year, dedicated to the female students at the University of Surrey to provide a fun, friendly and safe environment, encouraging more women to get more active, more often.
A range of classes and sessions are hosted throughout the evenings, when the entire facility is closed to the public. Our coaches and instructors design these classes and courses to be suitable for beginners whilst still being challenging and high energy.
Watch the video from February’s event here:
The events also include 10-minute consultations throughout the evening at The Treatment Room, our in-house expert team that specialise in sports therapy, sports massage, osteopathy and physiotherapy.
During the events, Surrey Sports Park is;
Entirely shut off to the public; the facility is closed to those other than our students.
February’s takeover saw the introduction of UV netball, volleyball and Clubbercise® classes, which is the first time UV events have EVER happened at Surrey Sports Park! Attendees were encouraged to wear white and neon colours as the UV Activities were held in dark arenas with blacklight, and UV paint was provided for the attendees to have fun with. The second of three instalments saw over 180 women getting involved across the 11 different activities on offer throughout the evening; the highest attendance we have seen since the project was established.
Many of the those in attendance have followed up with our female-only sessions, which Studio Co-ordinator, Katie Jarvis, describes as a way to “activate future participation and create a physical activity habit.” These sessions will run up to the Easter break, and you can still join in these sessions which are listed below:
These Unleash Your Potential events have been made possible through the BUCS Active Funding. Surrey Sports Park’s Sport Development Officer, Fran Strange, said “The funding has enabled us to offer an extensive timetable of free opportunities including UV activities suitable for beginners to get involved in whilst having fun and meeting new people.”
Many of the activities of the night are also accessible through Team Surrey’s PlaySport programme, which offers casual, social sessions without any commitment necessary. Our Surrey Sports Park student memberships also offer a plethora of classes throughout the week.
Following on from the event, we received some fantastic feedback from the students who were in attendance. One student described the takeover as “an amazing experience, where I felt encouraged to try different activities without feeling judged,” whilst another felt that she could “work out without feeling self-conscious” in the Sports Park’s gym, which was open only to those in attendance of the event.
One of the standout messages we received was around the empowerment that the event provided, with one student calling it “Amazing! So much female empowerment to give women more confidence at the gym!”
The third and final instalment for this academic year will take place on Saturday 2nd May at Surrey Sports Park.