Newcastle launch of ‘This Girl Can’ is hailed a huge success!

A photograph of participants at the Newcastle launch of "This Girl Can" at The Cycle Hub and Exhibition Park
A photograph of participants at the Newcastle launch of "This Girl Can" at The Cycle Hub and Exhibition Park

On Wednesday (8 March 2017) evening, nearly six-hundred women and girls from in and around Newcastle took part in the City’s launch of 'This Girl Can'.

Exhibition Park hosted the free 5km UV walk/run/cycle event. The event was delivered in the city by Active Newcastle.



Last year, research by Sport England showed that 7.21 million women in England were enjoying regular physical exercise. These numbers were greatly swelled by the staggering increase of a quarter of a million people thanks to the nationwide campaign, 'This Girl Can'.

This Girl Can, commissioned by Sport England and funded by National Lottery players, say that whilst they’ve inspired 2.8m women to get their kit on since the campaign launched in 2015, there’s still a lot more to do. They know:

75 per cent of women say they would like to be more active but 31% of North East women say that they worry about what other people think about them when they exercise.

This ‘fear of judgment’ stops women being active, this can be around appearance (how they look whilst exercising), ability (whether they are good or fit enough) and priorities (how they spend their time).

The North East has the highest number in England of women doing less than 30 minutes moderate exercise a week at over a quarter, and also the region seeing the largest gap between active men and women (9.8%).

Cllr Jane Streather, cabinet member for public health and housing at Newcastle City Council, said: “Women of all ages from across Newcastle and surrounding areas of the North East did the region proud, as they turned out in force to mark the launch of ‘This Girl Can’.

"It just shows how important people take their health and wellbeing with nearly six-hundred participants taking part in the organised event. We aim to use this enthusiasm and momentum to encourage more women and girls to enjoy regular exercise whether it be in the gym, their local park or even in the home. This Girl Can is a fantastic platform for people to explore what the City has to offer, as Active Newcastle delivers a wide range of classes and events for groups and individuals of all sporting levels.

“We urge people to look out for the series of special events taking place across the city over the coming months, as exercise can make a real difference to everyone’s physical and mental welfare.”

Participant’s thoughts

Lynne Alison, aged 47, a Civil Servant from Newcastle upon Tyne:

  • “I absolutely loved this event. It was actually fun. It was my first 5k, and having so many women encourage and cheer me on kept me going. I will definitely be looking to get involved with more This Girl Can programmes. The atmosphere was just great.”

Stella Laird, aged 28, a HR and Training Co-ordinator from Low Fell:

  • “This event was amazing. I do exercise regularly but this is the most fun I’ve ever had while exercising. It was great to see women of all ages and abilities come together and encourage each other. I will definitely be looking to get involved in more This Girl Can groups.”

Gaynor Harvey, aged 44, a Civil Servant from Newcastle upon Tyne:

  • “I took part in a This Girl Can 10-week running programme but never could quite manage the 5k distance. This was an opportunity for me to prove to myself that I could do it, and I did. Active Newcastle and This Girl Can have really helped me build my social life since recently moving to Newcastle.”

Sumer Halliday, aged 17, a student from Newcastle upon Tyne:

  • “This is the first 5k run I have done. It was hard but so much fun, I want to do more. The UV lights looked amazing too.”

You can get news about your local ‘This Girl Can’ events by keeping an eye out on the Active Newcastle social media [Twitter @activenewcastle and Facebook @Activenewcastlepage]. Alternatively, people can call 0191 278 3331 or visit

People can also check out the Newcastle City Council social media pages [Twitter NewcastleCC and Facebook @NewcastleCityCouncil]. Also, use #thisgirlcan when talking about the campaign online.

For further information about ‘This Girl Can’, please visit the nationally supported website: