Discover the programme that continues to help women cope with mental health issues and increase their fitness whilst making new friends and cementing current friendships. The award-winning programme is encouraging women to get active and boost their confidence.
Y:Women Can is a celebration of active women up and down the Fylde Coast who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or how red their face gets.
“Being active is really important for a healthy mind and body, in addition to being lots of fun,” said Michael Harrison, from YMCA Fylde Coast who run the scheme.
“We want to encourage more local women to get involved in sport and reap the rewards being active provides”
Just one of the programmes run by the Y:Women Can team is Couch to 5k.
Run in conjunction with parkrun, it is a nine-week plan with participants running three times a week.
At the end of the programme the ladies are able to complete a 5k run at their own pace.
As the name suggests, the YMCA Couch to 5k programme is for anyone, no matter what their initial fitness level.
However, for new runner Emma Sneath, the experience was about more than just her fitness.
The programme gave Emma new found confidence, allowing her to meet new people and assisting in weight loss. Since the Couch to 5k programme Emma has completed two 10K races, runs more than three times a week and is now training for a half marathon.
Emma completed the YMCA Couch to 5K programme in October last year and has been volunteering with the programme ever since. She will soon become a qualified run leader which will enable her to take out her own running groups and pass on her experience and knowledge to other women.
“What an inspiration the staff and the programme has been to me, especially as I was the girl who always had a note for P.E. and hid in the woods for cross country!” said Emma.
Y:Women Can / is part of a national campaign developed by Sport England after research revealed a huge difference in the number of men and women playing sport.
Studies found it wasn’t because women and girls didn’t want to get active but because they were afraid they would be judged.
In 2015, Sport England awarded YMCA Fylde Coast than £90,000 in a bid to get women active and enjoying sport.
Working with Fylde Council, Y:Women Can aims to increase once-a-week participation among women aged 14 to 40 in three core sports – cycling, swimming and running.
All activities are non-competitive, exclusively for women and cost just £2, free for YMCA members.
Since launching at the end of 2015, the scheme has been hugely successful.
In the first year alone, more than 700 women joined and more than 500 community sports sessions were held.
Last year Y:Women Can received an award for Contribution to Women’s Participation at the Fylde Council Sports Awards and Lancashire Sports Awards.
“It was wonderful to see a huge array of local sporting achievements and deserved winners on the night, plus amazing examples of dedication to the cause,” said Mr Harrison.
“Together, we are making our communities active through sport”
The programme also reached the finals of the prestigious National Youth Awards in the Health & Wellbeing Project of the Year category.
So, if you are thinking about getting more active but held back by fear of embarrassment why not get in touch with YMCA Fylde Coast? (adops please link http://ymcayactive.org/
Y:Women Can take place at activation hubs at YMCA St Annes, YMCA Rural Splash Kirkham, YMCA St Annes Pool & Gym, YMCA Lytham and YMCA Ansdell. The team are also based out in the community.
All sessions cost £2. Free for YMCA Members
Couch to 5K programmes are free for YMCA Fylde Coast Leisure members or £2 for non-members.