Thirty nine-year-old Liz Norris from Radcliffe, Lee Freeman from Prestwich and 33-year-old Deborah Cliff from Radcliffe, all recently hit their hundredth hour volunteering in various roles that encourage and support more women and girls to take part in sport and physical activity across Bury.
Keen amateur boxer, Liz, has been part of the I Will If You Will project since 2013, delivering weekly ladies only boxing classes in Radcliffe to help more women and girls get into the sport and build their self-esteem and fitness.
When Liz isn’t delivering knockout workouts or running Street Shakers – a social enterprise that runs dance and sports training courses and clubs for young people – she’s organising events in the community, most recently a dance-a-thon to raise funds for Sport Relief.
Zumba-fan Lee has been enjoying classes at Sunnybank Community Centre for the last five years and became an IWIYW Champion to help the instructor, Dianne, with tasks such as taking attendance registers and payments and supporting newcomers to find their feet.
Lee said: “I really enjoy Dianne’s Zumba classes and being an IWIYW Champion gives me extra motivation to turn up each week, even when it's a cold or wet outside and I could be tempted to stay at home. I love being an IWIYW Champion as I get to meet new people and I feel great, both mentally and physically afterwards.”
Deborah, who works full time for a large Estate Agency firm, spends her free time promoting and co-ordinating Great Run Local – a free weekly run at Burrs Country Park, which is organised entirely by volunteers.
Pritesh Patel, IWIYW Programme Manager, said: “We launched the IWIYW Champions Programme last September in a bid to increase volunteering opportunities in varied and rewarding roles in sport and physical activity across the borough.
“So far, more than 160people have signed up as IWIYW Champions and without their help, fewer local people would be able to take part in activities they enjoy, whether it’s running through Burrs Country Park in a safe and friendly environment or feeling confident enough to attend their local Zumba class.”
IWIYW Champions are rewarded and recognised for their time and efforts with free IWIYW branded items, such as t-shirts, sports bottles and gym bags, as well as accredited training to support their ongoing development when they reach milestones of 10, 20, 50 and 100 hours.
Roles vary from helping out at events, right through to assisting coaches deliver inclusive sports sessions for people with disabilities and additional needs.
To find out more about volunteering as an IWIYW Champion please visit www.iwillifyouwill.co.uk/support-the-movement/champions/
-- ENDS --
About I Will If You Will
I Will If You Will is focused on changing women and girls’ behaviours towards taking part in sport and physical activity with the aim of getting more women and girls being more active, more often, and helping improve the health and wellbeing of people in Bury.
It aims to overcome the many practical and emotional barriers to being active, while encouraging women to support each other by joining the I Will If You Will community.
The phase one campaign (2013 – 14) was delivered by Bury Council with £2.3 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England.For the phase two campaign (2015 – 16), Sport England has allocated a further £2 million to extend delivery.
The successful IWIYW pilot campaign identified valuable insight and helped develop the foundations for Sport England’s national This Girl Can campaign, which launched in January 2015, as well as Sport England’s practical guide to helping women and girls get active (www.sportengland.org/womenandgirls).
For more information, please contact:Samantha Neville, I Will If You Will Marketing OfficerTel: 0161 253 6678 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org