Aimed at encouraging more girls to get active, develop skills and try something fun and new, as well as address the gender balance in some sports which aren’t traditionally seen as ‘girls sports’, there is a growing number of girls-only sports clubs and activities in Gloucestershire – SoGlos has handpicked six of these energetic activities just for girls.
Of course, we believe boys and girls should be able to do absolutely anything they want, whatever their gender. And we don’t for a second think that girls or boys should be limited in their aspirations, but we do want to showcase some of the incredible opportunities out there specifically for girls, to challenge perceptions and encourage participation – and because, well, they sound amazingly good fun!
This hot list is sponsored by Cheltenham Ladies’ College, a school which has been at the forefront of girls’ education for over 160 years, and which passionately aims to develop talent and enthusiasm for sports and exercise for all levels. Visit cheltladiescollege.org for more information.
Gloucester Rugby has been hosting girls only rugby camps as well as girls only rugby open days at locations around Gloucestershire for a number of years now. Combining professional rugby coaching with fun and friendship, Gloucester Rugby’s camps and open days are held regularly during the school holidays and are aimed at girls aged 10 and above.
Plus, there is also an increasing number of girls rugby teams scattered across Gloucestershire, with Gloucestershire RFU now organising annual girls rugby tournaments for local under 15s and under 18s girls.
Flyup 417 Bike Park in Gloucester wants to see more girls riding on its trails and tracks and is encouraging girls of all ages to saddle-up and get mountain biking. As well as hosting regular girls-only mountain biking coaching sessions aimed at kids aged five to 12 during some school holidays, Flyup 417 also hosts a specific girls bike race during its races each month. Plus, for competent female riders aged 10 and up there are regular ladies nights with girls often coming along with their mums’ for a ride.
Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre in the Forest of Dean also offers one-on-one ladies mountain bike coaching with World Cup racer Katy Curd, suitable for teenagers with mountain biking experience.
Thanks in no small part to the success of England’s Lionesses in the World Cup, there are a growing number of girls football teams in Gloucestershire – with the FA launching SSE Wildcats Girls Football Clubs across the county, with 19 new centres launched in the county in 2018.
Offering girls aged five to 11 their first experience of football, there are Wildcats teams in Cheltenham town centre, Leckhampton, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, central Gloucester, Abbeymead, Hartpury, Stroud and the Forest of Dean. There is also an FA Girls’ Football Week held annually in November.
From Serena Williams to Sharapova, there’s no shortage of incredible female tennis role models, and there are a number of girls only tennis coaching options in Gloucestershire.
Oxstalls Sports Park in Gloucester, for example, has recently introduced new girls only tennis sessions. There are dedicated sessions for 5-8 year olds; as well as teen girls; with both sessions taking place on Thursday evenings. Plus, girls can give it a go with a free taster session and bring along a friend too.
Girls cricket has grown rapidly over the last few years, with 15 cricket clubs with girls sections across the county, according to Gloucestershire Cricket Board. At the under 11 age group there are girls kwik cricket festivals held around the county in the summer, as well under 13s and under 15s girls hard ball cricket competitions that launch around June each year too.
Plus, national organisation Cricket for Girls runs dedicated holiday camps for girls at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and other schools across Gloucestershire. Visit cricketforgirls.com for up-to-date details.
Far Peak Climbing Centre in the Cotswolds has a dedicated women’s climbing club that meets every Thursday, with the opportunity for female teenagers and ladies to take on indoor climbing challenges, as well as the 15m outdoor climbing tower, as well as climbing trips to locations around the country.
By Michelle Fyrne
Thursday 04 October 2018
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