Women into Sport and Physical Activity (WISPA)

The Active Lifestyles team are supporting more women to get active across Leeds, with the support of Streetgames Doorstep Sport Funding.  The Sport England funding was secured in 2014 and supports young women to participate in sport and physical activity through developing sessions in communities. The aim of the project is to break down some of the perceptions and barriers that women may face accessing mainstream sport.

Since the project began in September 2014, over 120 women have attended at least one session, with 65% being retained to attend sessions regularly. The funding has helped to develop four new sessions a week in Seacroft, Beeston, Holbeck and Woodhouse, targeting young women by providing fun and vibrant sport and physical activity sessions.

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The weekly WISPA session in Seacroft has been working with some young mums, offering some much needed ‘me time’ as well as helping women to start to feel the benefits of an active lifestyle.

‘I really enjoy coming here, me time and exercising. I have toned up as well.’ Louise, WISPA participant           

For all the sessions the emphasis is on fun and just having a go.

‘The sessions at Dennis Healey are fun and interesting. There is something for everyone, no matter what your fitness level. The instructor is very energetic and friendly and does a great job at motivating all who attend, whilst making it a fun place to be, we’re never short on smiles! It’s been great to meet new people, and see everyone gain confidence and improve their fitness levels…’ Sarah, WISPA participant 

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Since the sessions began, activities have included Zumba, hula hooping, mini basketball, badminton, flexi-bar, circuits, introduction to yoga, Pilates and rounders.  Mums have had the chance to bring the children for some sessions during half term holidays and t-shirts have been given out as a reward to those who attending regularly.

On 14 January 2015 Louise Walker, Active Lifestyle Officer organised a WISPA event at the City of Leeds Academy (COLS). The event took place in partnership with both the school, and the safer schools officer.  The girls attending got to try some body combat and flexi bar training, along with the chance for some complimentary rewarding beauty treatments.

“I find the WISPA sessions challenging and fun with a lot of variation from week to week” Woodhouse WISPA participant                

Joanne Buck, Neighbourhood Manager for Seacroft said: “it’s great to see the community mums coming together and using the centre. This session and exercise really is a great step forward for the Seacroft community.”

Additional funding has been applied for to support the sessions for another year, building on the good work achieved in year one.

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