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Girls Go Gold

Thursday 31 October 2019

On the 13th of September 2019, girls from across the UK flooded to the English Institute of Sports for a day of inspiration, taught sessions and fun! The day was a collaboration of efforts from Sheffield Hallam University and Youth Sports Trust. It was of course the GSA Girls Go Gold event!

After travelling from all over the UK to the EIS, Sheffield, the girls received a motivating pep talk from none other than Dame Kathrine Grainger, Great Britain's most decorated female Olympian. She spoke about her journey to where she is now, covering her route into rowing, overcoming barriers and the disappointment of missing out on medals in Beijing, and followed it up a Q&A from the girls. Grainger also spoke about the commitment and teamwork her sport required from her.

Following this, the girls then attended a theory masterclass of their choosing. The sessions were designed to showcase a range of careers in the sporting industry. This included;

  • Sport Psychology and Athlete Performance
  • Business of Sport
  • Media at Major Events
  • Sport Development
  • Physical Activity and Health

The masterclasses were led by Sheffield Hallam academics and external coaches. They really gave the girls a valuable glimpse into the sporting industry and provided ideas and insight about alternative career strands within sports to being an athlete.

After fuelling up at lunch it was on to the recreational activity! These were held across the road at ICE Sheffield and the girls had a choice of three exciting activities.

The first option was what ICE Sheffield is known for- Ice skating! The girls were invited to grab a pair of skates and venture out onto the rink! Alternatively there was Drumba, a high energy workout that combines exercise and playing the drums! This had the girls dancing around and completing ab exercises, all while drumming along to the beat! The last option was Arial ropes- a classic high ropes challenge. Love it or hate it, the girls took like birds to the sky and whizzed through the 34 obstacle-assault course.

Following this the girls had their afternoon practical session. Like the theory, there was a choice of classes.

  • Goalball Masterclass

This session gave the girls an insight into Goalball, a disability team sport incorporating physical and visual disabilities. The girls in this session were provided with a history and knowledge of the game, then got chance to try their hand at it.

  • Strength and Conditioning Masterclass

With a mixture of Powerbelle weightlifting sessions and strength and conditioning sessions, the girls got chance to work towards developing strength to support them in their respective sports.

  • Athletics Masterclass

Here the girls got to work their way around 4 stations of classic athletics events; long jump, high jump, hurdles and shot put. All the while being taught by ex GB athletes and qualified coaches.

  • Boxing Masterclass

Participants in this class got chance to learn more about the basic boxing technique, incorporating a fun mix of fitness and technique work. The girls also got some valuable insight to the boxing industry from Gemma Richardson, two time European and world junior champion, when she delivered a Q&A session and showed the girls around the boxing facilities.

  • Cycling Masterclass

The girls took part in a fully immersive spin session, delivered in the EIS's new spin room with an interactive screen!

  • Netball Masterclass

in this fun and challenging session, girls got to play netball while learning valuable hints and tips to build on their existing skill levels.

After this jam packed schedule, the girls got to sit down once more and soak up all that the three mentors had to say. These were Jenna Downing- world champion inline skater, Nicola Minichiello- world champion bobsledder and Jenny Wallwork- Commonwealth silver medallist for badminton. Following their highly inspirational talks, the girls got chance again to ask any questions they had and gain valuable advice from these amazing athletes.

At the end of the day all of the attendees had an opportunity to feedback their thoughts about the event. The response was overwhelmingly positive:

"Drumba was great. Great to have PE theory involved which matched GCSE specification."

"Goalball session was interesting and good to try something new"

"We had a super day and it was very worthwhile and successful so thank you!"

"Wonderful event every year and very beneficial for the girls"

"Very organised! Lots of brilliant activities on offer. Very friendly staff."

This blog was written by Elicia Agar, Student and Activity Officer at Sheffield Hallam University.  


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