This Girl Can: Student Profiles

Six of our amazing students share their inspiring stories as women in sport, breaking down barriers and leading the way to show that THIS GIRL CAN.

Over the course of this week, we have seen some fab virtual participation for the This Girl Can campaign as we celebrate women getting active no matter how they do it, how they look, or even how sweaty they get!

Women’s Football and Lacrosse organised a fun crossover to teach each other some skills – all socially distanced and within guidelines! There is also some great content on Instagram courtesy of Netball, Riding, Fitness, and Volleyball too! Thank you everyone for a fab week, they were difficult circumstances but you definitely rose above it and got stuck in.

If you follow us on Instagram, you'll have seen us speak to your Sabbatical Officers about what the This Girl Can campaign means to them and how they like to stay active. Now, it is the turn of some students! We've got six inspiring stories, breaking down barriers and leading the way to show that THIS GIRL CAN.

Erica Osakwe

2nd Year Electronic Engineering, Ballroom & Latin Secretary

What does This Girl Can mean to you?

This Girl Can acknowledges that as long as we put our mind to it, which could be anything, we are unstoppable. No matter what, no one can tell us otherwise. Our bodies, our choice. And all achievements and success should be celebrated.

Social media can be extremely toxic, and it continues to tell girls that there is a certain way we need to look or behave to get approval from people who don’t even know us.

This Girl Can reminds us all that this “culture” does not define us. It does not inhibit us from achieving. And it does not decide what we chose to do.

Read Erica's story

Natalia Pettersson

3rd Year Law, RH Women’s Football President?

What does This Girl Can mean to you?

To me, it’s the fact that women belong in sports and that it doesn’t have to be in relation to men’s role in sport. It’s the amplification of the voice that women have always had, which showcases our determination, strength and passion.

Read Natalia's story

Leah Rachel

1st Year Philosophy MRes?

What does This Girl Can mean to you?

It means not having limits, and when there are barriers breaking them down. It means remembering the time when people thought I couldn't do something and proving them wrong over and over again.

Read Leah's story

Olivia Stocks

2nd Year Management with International Business

What does This Girl Can mean to you?

This Girl Can has been a hugely important campaign and personally helped me to gain the confidence to push myself further in sport.

I mainly run at the moment, but I have been lucky enough to have participated in multiple sports throughout my life and represented my county in one and GB in another. Every day I am inspired by some incredible women in sport who I follow through social media, as well as by my female trainers/coaches.

The This Girl Can movement has enhanced this as, since its launch in 2015, there have been so many more women sharing their sporting and fitness journeys on social media. Personally, I enjoy extreme sports and adrenaline filled activities which in the past have been seen as areas dominated by and meant for men. The This Girl Can movement, for me, has brought to light how untrue this stereotype that some sports are suited to men, whilst others are suited to women, is.

It has led me to feel more confident trying different sports and even being proud of moments of failure in some activities, because I felt that I was doing it for women, not just for myself! It helped me to be less afraid of failure and taught me that people fail in sport, not just women.

Read Olivia's story

Charlotte Wassell

3rd Year Economics & Management, RH Lacrosse President?

What does This Girl Can mean to you?

This Girl Can really champions getting people, women especially, into sport and exercise, and this really fits with our ethos of encouraging anyone to pick up a lax stick and growing the game.

The campaign aims to help reduce fears or any practical reason why people may not get involved in sport, especially targeting women and reducing the gender participation gap in sport.

In our lacrosse club, we really encourage beginners so much so that the majority of our members first start lacrosse at university. We cater for a wide range of abilities and try and create a supportive atmosphere and build bonds between our teams, to help grow the game and get people passionate about the sport!

Read Charlotte's story

Shanice George

2nd Year Law & Criminology, creator of SMG Fitness

What does This Girl Can mean to you?

This Girl Can means so many things for me. It is a week that reminds me that women are powerful, strong and able to conquer any challenge. During this week, each year I try and remind myself of how important not only exercise is, but also taking mental time away from the world and thinking about all the many achievements all the successful women I know have made and how I am going to add to that list in the future.

Read Shanice's story