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This Girl Can Sussex Network Events

The This Girl Can Sussex Network aims to inspire more women and girls to move more, and help break down the barriers that prevent so many from being physically active.

Upcoming Network Events

Perinatal Period and Physical Activity (10 months on!) – Thursday, June 20, 1-2pm

This community of learning session not only provides a space to bring together partners who attended the face to face session on this topic in September 2023 (scroll down for more details), but an opportunity for other partners to join the conversation.

This will be a relaxed and informal sharing and connecting session with some updates from This Mum Moves Ambassadors.

This session is open to all, so please join us to listen, learn and consider ways of collaborative working, that empowers women and birthing people to move in a way that works for them.

Book your place

Catch up on our previous events

Women and Girls Wellness – Tuesday April 30, 2024

Bringing together the TGC Sussex Network and Sussex Health Instructor Network, this session looked at what can impact the wellness of women and girls, with some reflection on themes we have covered in previous learning events.

We discussed and explored navigating the menstrual cycle and menopause, body changes (from breast health to pelvic floors) and related health conditions, through the sharing of lived experiences from local partners.

Resources from the learning session are available on our Community of Learning hub.

The recording will be available in due course.

Empowering women and girls through safe and inclusive active spaces – Thursday January 18, 2024 

A significant proportion of women report safety concerns in relation to exercising in well-lit streets or public spaces alone after dark (65%), non-supervised public facilities (53%), and supervised public facilities (19%). Research found 46% of women say they change their outdoor exercise routine due to less daylight during the autumn and winter months and almost half (48%) of women do not like to get active outdoors after dark. More alarming is that six in 10 (60%) women surveyed are also concerned about the risk of sexual harassment or intimidation when being active during the darker nights.

When we consider safety concerns in leisure facilities, among those who experienced sexual harassment or intimidation, 76% reported they had changed their behaviour as a result, which varied from changing the time they visited facilities to the way they dressed. These concerns contribute to an overall trend of women reportedly enjoying exercise less than men.

Women and girls deserve to get active as much as men and so we need to create safer environments, and stamp out harassment and intimidation so women and girls feel safe when being active indoors or outdoors.

This face to face learning event provided a space to discuss these concerns and what we can do to address systemic issues, promote awareness, and implement practices.


Empowering women and girls through safe and inclusive active spaces – slides (PDF)

Uckfield College Bikeability Project presentation slides (PDF)

Threshold Sport/Threshold Trail Series Ultra 50:50 – slides (PDF)

Try Tag Rugby Brighton and Hove – slides (PDF) 

Becky Hughes:  From joining the Gym to Training others in it! – slides (PDF) 

A plain text version will be available shortly

Research & resources

This Girl Can – Closing the Enjoyment Gap ‘Action Areas’ 

This Girl Can and UK Active – Engaging the 51%: How to make your spaces safer for women

This Girl Can – #LetsLiftTheCurfew campaign

Women in Sport ‘Make space for Us’ report  

Make Space for Girls – campaigns for facilities and public spaces for teenage girls.

Staying Safe In Sports – key contacts

Connecting and Sharing – Tuesday November 28, 2023

The last virtual forum of the year provided an opportunity for Active Sussex to highlight the national campaign and and our work/plans, as well as a space for partners to share what they have been doing over the last year, discuss plans for 2024 and any challenges that others could support them with.

Notes and links will be shared in due course.

The Perinatal Period & Physical Activity – Tuesday 19 September 2023

Physical activity during pregnancy and after childbirth provides a range of physical and mental health benefits for women. However, despite the national guidelines, evidence suggests that up to 75% of women of childbearing age do not meet these recommendations. 

This in-person session considered insight and physical activity behaviours of this audience, backed up by real life stories and provided an opportunity to share good practice examples, resources and training opportunities. We also used it as an opportunity to build relationships with partners to better understand the gaps and needs locally.

Resources from the learning session are available on our Community of Learning hub.

Breaking Barriers: Empowering Women’s Leadership in Sport and Physical Activity – Thursday 27 April 2023

The lack of women in leadership and coaching roles in sport and physical activity is a significant issue that has received increased attention in recent years. Despite progress made in gender equality in sports, there remains a gender gap in leadership and coaching positions.

Therefore this session provided a platform to discuss how we can collectively increase female representation at all levels of the workforce in Sussex. We took a look at the headline insight from the recent Sporting Insights research ‘Tackling Inequality – The Voice of Women’ and were delighted to have several Sussex women share their coaching and leadership journeys, as well as hear thoughts from a male ally about what they are doing in this space.

Presentation – slide format (PDF)

Presentation – plain text version (PDF)

Sporting Insights: Voice of Women Working in Sport (Download from site)

Sporting Insights: Voice of Women Working in Sport – Advice list report March 2023

Project 500 Champion videos

Recordings from the webinar can be watched via our YouTube channel – TGC Sussex Network Playlist

Please get in contact if you require documents in a different forum.

This Girl Can Sussex: Networking & Connecting – Tuesday 29 November

It’s been nearly two years since we launched the This Girl Can Sussex Network, so this virtual forum aims to provide an opportunity for the network to come together informally to connect and share with regards to getting women and girls active.

This Girl Can Sussex: Networking & Connecting slides and notes (PDF)

This Girl Can: Coach, Play, Learn – Are we effectively supporting and engaging disabled women and girls in sport and physical activity? – Wednesday 22 June 2022

This session delivered as part of the Sussex Inclusive Sport & Physical Activity Conference hosted by the Sussex Disability Sports Network.

You can watch the recording here

This Girl Can: Coach, Play, Learn Slides (PDF)

Thoughts and reflections from attendees (PDF).

Women’s Sporting Journeys: How to Keep Women Engaged in Sport Throughout Their Lives – Thursday 3 March 2022

Sport needs to reframe the value it can bring to women throughout their lives. Be inspired by real women as we hear from This Girl Can Ambassadors and Champions, explore new research, and piece together recommendations for positive action in Sussex.

You can watch the recording here.

TGC Sussex Network Forum – Women Sporting Journeys (Active Sussex slides).

Womens Sporting Journeys: How to keep women engaged in sport throughout their lives (Handout).

Getting Girls Active – Wednesday 1 December 2021

Only 10% of girls aged 13 to 16 meet the CMO guidelines of 60 active minutes each day. What’s more, by the age of 17, when PE lessons are no longer provide a form of compulsory exercise, 64% of girls will stop doing any sport at all!

At this forum we discussed the issues, barriers and solutions to ensure that girls in the county have a positive experience of physical activity from a young age.

Following a presentation from the Youth Sport Trust with the latest insights, we discussed thoughts and ideas, and heard from women and girls about their experiences and successes.

You can watch/listen to to the online forum recording here.

TGC Sussex Network Forum – Getting Girls Active presentation.

Women’s Wellbeing – Wednesday 20 October 2021

42% of women and girls are classed as not being active enough for good health.

This event focused on the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity, and how the This Girl Can movement can support the lives of those living with long-term conditions and mental health problems.

We heard from some of our Sussex Ambassador and Champions and through the sharing of key insight and best practice, attendees delved into the problems faced by women participating in sport and physical activities, as well as exploring the solutions too.

You can watch/listen to the online forum recording here.

TGC Network Forum – Women’s Wellbeing Presentation

Menopause and Physical Activity – Monday 10 May 2021

The menopause is a significant change in a woman’s life and can often have a negative impact on a woman’s physical activity as a result.

This forum event provided an opportunity for partners to hear about the latest research from Women in Sport, take on board lived experiences and discover how sport and physical activity provision can and is supporting women’s physical and mental wellbeing during the menopause.

Event outcomes:

  • Raised awareness of the menopause and the benefits of physical activity
  • Recommendations for partners and SPA deliverers to support women to maintain and re-engage with physical activity during menopause
  • More women in participating in physical activity (especially in the 40-55 age bracket)
  • Awareness of the This Girl Can Sussex Network and Champions

You can watch/listen to the online forum recording here.

Read the summary notes from the forum here.

This Girl Can Sussex: Pioneering Movement Ready for Take-Off – Thursday 25 February 2021

The This Girl Can Sussex Network was officially launched as part of the Active Sussex Network, 25 February 2021.

The session explored some of the insight around women and girls participation and we heard first hand from some our new TGC Champions as to why they exercise and how they fit it into their busy lives. This Girl Can Sussex Ambassadors also offered some top tips for partners to consider when planning/promoting activity. Facilitated discussions provided an opportunity to consider how the new This Girl Can Sussex Network can respond to the needs of women and girls in Sussex, to support them on a journey to become more active.

Watch the session recording here.

Read the summary notes from the session here.

Gemma Finlay-Gray

Strategic Relationship Manager

Gemma is the organisation's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lead, with responsibility for relationship management of key strategic stakeholders in relation to EDI, to support equal access and quality opportunities to physical activity in Sussex. She oversees the Sussex Disability Sports Network and the This Girl Can Sussex Network. In addition she is the Lead Adult Safeguarding Officer, Deputy CYP Safeguarding Officer and will have oversight of the Sport Welfare Officer project in Sussex

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