Sport Sister Podcast - Season 2, Episode 6

Episode 6 – How sport can build confidence in women: Simon Wears, Atia Nazmin & Gemma Ali.

Simon Wears, Atia Nazmin and Gemma Ali

Simon Wears is Head of Health and Wellbeing at Wycombe Wanderers Foundation, supporting the local community across areas of physical and mental health programmes. Atia Nazmin joined the Wycombe Wanderers Foundation team in 2020 having spent the previous six years volunteering in the community.  Gemma Ali is the Founder of Footy Fit, providing football based fitness sessions for women that may have never had the opportunity to play.

Simon, Atia and Gemma join Natalie Doyle to discuss how sport can increase confidence in women.  They cover the importance of role models within diverse communities; supporting women through the menopause; and the positive impacts that sport can have on women’s confidence.

“It was after the amazing summer that our Lionesses gave us that it really gave me the confidence to just go and try it”

- Gemma Ali

Read this episode’s transcript

Natalie Doyle:

Welcome to the Sport Sister Podcast, where we bring together professional experts with grassroots pioneers to discuss key topics for grassroots sport. 

I’m Natalie Doyle, and this episode’s a bit different because we have three brilliant guests joining me. 

Gemma Ali is the founder of Footy Fit, providing football-based fitness sessions for women that may have never had the opportunity to play. Simon Wears and Atia Nazmin both work for Wycombe Wanderers Foundation and have some great initiatives to engage women in sport. 

But how can we use sport to build confidence in women? Let’s hear their thoughts.

Right. Simon, Atia and Gemma, thank you so much for giving up your time today. We’re going to be talking about building confidence in women through sport. I’m really looking forward to this conversation because it’s something that’s very close to my heart. I’ve seen first-hand the impact that sport can have on building confidence in women, and I know you all see this in your various roles as well. To start the conversation, I thought it might be good just to set the scene and get a bit more of a background around you and your organizations and the work that you are doing for women in this area at the moment. So, should we start with you Gemma? Do you want to tell us all about Footy Fit?

Gemma Ali:

Yeah. Hi. So Footy Fit basically came about from a lot of desire over the last few years really, wanting to encourage more and more women my age to try football. And it was after the amazing summer that our Lionesses gave us that it really gave me the confidence to just go and try it. So that basically is what spurred me on. And I got in touch with a few local venues, one of which was happy to provide the space. And I started to do a few free trials, and I now run two sessions a week, and I’m going to be starting to run evening sessions straight after the Easter holidays when the clocks change, which I can’t wait to do. There’s so many women that obviously can’t do in the week, because they’re working full-time but really want to give it a go. But essentially Footy Fit is basically the chance for women of all ages to play regular football. It’s a fun team-spirited development program to build football skills, football abilities, and it’s slowly growing. I think as the weather continues to improve, I’m hoping we’ll grow a bit faster too. <laugh>.

Natalie Doyle:

Yeah, it’s fantastic. And isn’t it brilliant because there’s been a lot of talk in the press and in the media recently around what the Lionesses are doing for girls to take part in football, but it’s fantastic that that success in the summer has like you said, it gave you the confidence to want to go and try football. And you’ll be seeing that in lots of women who have seen that and think, yeah, why not? I’ll go give it a go.

Gemma Ali:

Exactly.

Natalie Doyle:

It’s fantastic. Simon and Atia, what’s happening at Wycombe for women in sport?

Simon Wears:

Within the foundation, we work across four departments. We’ve got education, we’ve got inclusion, sports participation and health and wellbeing. I’ve actually been in post now for just over 18 months, and similar to Natalie, coming from a previous working environment within the FA family, I did a little bit of work around social and inclusion work and when I started in post, I couldn’t help but notice that very early on there was only one demographic that we were engaging with. So I went away, did a little bit of research, and then found out about something called the Human Library, how we kind of unjudge individuals and the impact that that has. To cut a long story short, it’s through the work that we followed on from that and other interventions we put in place in terms of participation, both males and females, but within the health and wellbeing department, we were seeing about 43 individuals a week.

At the last count, I think we’re up to about 260 individuals through the week as well. So just through that early interventions, looking at unique provisions, looking at interventions of other projects, we’re starting to engage within the wider community, just within health and wellbeing, which is really positive. But we’re quite, I guess, I like to be quite unique and quite creative on the projects I come up with. Sometimes I present it to my manager and he might say, ‘What?’ <laugh> We talk about the female refugee skateboarding project that we’ve delivered, I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit more around the menopause workshops that we’ve delivered and we’re going to be delivering four more of those coming up. Yeah, so it’s a much more inclusive environment that we are now engaging with within the local community, which is really positive. I never thought four years ago that I would be planning a menopause workshop, would never have thought that mattered.

Natalie Doyle:

Yeah.

Simon Wears:

But here I am, <laugh>,

Natalie Doyle:

<laugh> Sport takes you in different paths that you don’t necessarily always expect, doesn’t it? Great. Thank you so much for both giving that added context. There’s some fantastic work that you’re both doing, which is obviously why I wanted you to join me today. First of all, I’d be really interested to get your thoughts and from what you’ve seen with the women that you work with around, why do you think it’s so important for women to take part in sport?

Gemma Ali:

I think it’s so important for anyone to take part in sport. And for women especially for my age women I guess is my focus. And talking of the menopause, Simon you’ve already mentioned, it’s so fantastic to hear a man working in that area because we’re still kind of learning about it really. And particularly for men to find out more is so worthwhile and important. And with the menopause, I was just doing a bit of research and it looks like a third of women drop off from physical activity during the menopause, and yet that desire to be active is still quite high.

And I believe that that has a lot to do with a lack of confidence. And so trying a new sport is not only a great thing to do on a fitness level, but it can be such a rewarding experience. And also on a social level, feeling part of a team getting rid of any negative energy we let build up each week, putting it all out there on the court or the pitch, it can be the most positive thing you can do with it. And I think you almost need even more outlets to use that kind of energy as you get older, particularly 40 plus, I guess is my kind of target audience. And as we get older, our confidence definitely wanes. It’s harder to take the plunge and try new things.

And that has been the hardest challenge is to just get people to come along and just give it a go. I think you do get worried about getting injured obviously as you get older, but then you look at all the symptoms of when you reach that age and losing that kind of muscle mass. Everything’s pointing towards you should get more exercise. You should become actually more physical than perhaps you even were before, and so I think that’s why it’s so important for women to take part in a sport, not just for the physical, but for that mental wellbeing, the social side and spending time with other people that are just going through the same things that you are, is just amazing. It’s just brilliant to have that.

Simon Wears:

Yeah. Just to come in on that Gemma, when we did run the menopause workshop, and this is where sport’s really powerful, just by providing that safe environment, and when all the women came in, there was a massive sigh of relief in the fact that there was a coming together, whether it’s through a team sport or they were within a room that we kind of catered for, but there was a drop of the shoulders. It’s like, wow, we can now finally talk about the menopause, and you’ve kind of got that energy from within the room, the fact that wow, we can finally talk about it.

And collectively as well, it’s like, so many people are going through this and let’s talk about it. I’m not going through it just personally, it’s not just me, and that was really powerful. So when we did deliver the workshop, we had an allocation of maybe an hour and a half to deliver it, but the first 15-20 minutes, we just let the women talk because they just wanted to freely talk. And that’s where the walking football sessions are massively positive as well, where you’ve got that shared experience that individuals are going through. And that’s such a relief and such a positive support network for the individuals going through that, which I think is really positive.

Atia Nazmin:

And I just wanted to add, hi Natalie, hi Gemma. I’m from the ethnic minority background. And for me personally growing up, I always watched every sport, but it was predominantly male-orientated. There was nothing for me to watch. Tennis was something that I’ve watched where women took part. So for the ethnic minorities, it’s been a bit of a taboo subject in my community where when I used to play football, my neighbour used to look out through the window and then come to my parents and say, oh, she shouldn’t be doing that. That’s not ladylike <laugh>, and I’ve always been the rebellious type in that if somebody says to me, you can’t do that because I’m a girl or because I’m Muslim or because of my faith or my sexual background, I feel like I have to prove them wrong.

So throughout my childhood, I was breaking barriers where I was playing. I’ve played locally for a football team and the first time I scored was the first time they’ve ever scored. It was predominantly older ladies and they used to lose 21-0, 14-0, and the one time that I scored it was like we had won the World Cup <laugh>. And that was a take-home story that I then took back to school, and it was read out in notices, and I feel like the reason why now, and I’ve got involved with sports, one, I was passionate, one, I was told women couldn’t take part. And I thought, no, I want to change that dynamic. So people seeing me doing sport, and especially people from the ethnic minority seeing me doing sport has kind of paved the way for them.

So my background is, I do various sports. I do netball, football, rounders, swimming, for ladies and girls in my community. Prior to Covid, we used to have around 250 ladies that I was working with on a weekly basis that included a young boy’s football team as well. Post covid, it’s kind of changed the dynamics. I think people have gone back into their comfort zones and it’s about time that I got them out of their comfort zones. But for them, it’s always been if somebody’s leading it and if they can relate to you, so if they can relate to my passion or relate to the fact that I’m a hijabi, I wear a hijab, a head scarf, if she can do it, we can as well.

And they don’t feel like it’s a taboo subject anymore. And you see a lot of women coming out now whether they’re good at netball or football or swimming, it’s irrelevant. It’s being a part of that group. And the social side that Gemma mentioned is so, so important. Simon always laughs that I like creating WhatsApp groups, but I find WhatsApp groups are great for banter. So we have to banter before we go onto the court or into the pool where I try to, you know the lead person in the group, the person who will set the ‘loud ma’ we like to call it, who can influence others. I personally like to wind them up so that it gets the whole group going in the right positive direction where we’re competing with each other, but we are also socializing and getting people out.

So they need to feel a part of the group, to even get them out of their homes. So that social aspect, that banter and then once they join us, they don’t leave. So we started walking football with one or two ladies. One lady in the first week. And I was like, oh, this is going to be an uphill struggle. And now we’ve got 10 in our WhatsApp group. And they’re always looking forward to coming. They’re giving each other lifts. Some of them didn’t even know each other. And we’re hugging each other. I feel like that warmth at the start. So last night we had a newbie and she saw us hugging mid-game because somebody turned up late and she goes, only in women’s football would that happen. <laugh>.

Natalie Doyle:

<laugh>. It’s so true, isn’t it? I’ve been scribbling down lots of stuff while you were talking there, Atia. There’s some really interesting points that you’ve brought out. One of the things is, it’s interesting when we talk about how it is difficult with that confidence, isn’t it for women, harder for them to try new things and how important it is that you create that safe environment for them. So you make them feel part of the group by getting them to be part of the WhatsApp chat. So maybe they don’t feel quite ready to join in the session yet, but they’re starting to get involved and get an idea of who those people are that they’re going to be seeing when they get there, at the training session. And also you talked about the importance of those relatable role models. You talked about coaching within your own community. Do you think that that’s a really important part in terms of trying to engage women who are from ethnic minority backgrounds? Is it important to provide those relatable role models to engage them in what you’re doing?

Atia Nazmin:

Absolutely. So my role model was my teacher at school. She was a black woman and she was so, so, so amazing. And I could relate to her. And she was the type of person who would push you but not push you so far that you decide that you don’t want to go ahead. So with these women as well, I’d invite them to sessions and I’d say to them, the first session is a taster session.

Whether you take part or don’t take part is entirely up to yourself. You won’t be forced to do anything. If you want to come and sit for 10 sessions and watch everyone else play, that is absolutely fine as well. But when they see that, so for, for the netball group that I run, when they see that there’s other hijabis there, and there’s people that don’t wear the head scarf, and they don’t feel left out. And the people who wear the headscarf don’t feel left out either. And then we have a sports hall at a local school and because then they can practice their religion within those four walls and there’s no windows that people can peer in from or any males can come in. So security know that no males can come in until I leave the hall with my group, so that’s security as well as the whole group being around females. I think that that’s very, very appealing. And what I try to do with my sports is empower the women. So with the female walking football, I go in there and I say to them, what do you want to do this session? What do you want to work on? I let them choose what they want to do rather than dictate to them, because then that way it doesn’t feel like they have to do it, they want to do it.

Similarly, with netball, we’ve got a competitive team that plays in a local league. And then there are some girls who just come and play. They don’t want to know all the rules or all the technical terms going with the sport. They just want to come and be a part of a group and leave. Whereas the other group, we have a special training session for the group that wants to be playing in leagues, and our netball team is called Warriors, and we’re the only diverse team in the whole league, the only ethnic minority team in the whole league. I think there’s one or two other Asian girls who play for other clubs, but we’re the only ethnic minority team. I think they’ve got seven divisions. So take from that, what you may.

Natalie Doyle:

Gemma with your sessions, do you see that lack of confidence when women first come along to those first sessions? How do they appear when they first turn up?

Gemma Ali:

Absolutely. I do. Yeah. What’s been the best way is actually my existing team members will try and get their friends along. And it definitely helps if they’ve got a friend, they’ll buddy up and come along and give it a go. And they’ve all actually just got stuck in, I think that’s great. Atia was saying, you’ve just got to create that safe space and then people immediately relax and feel, oh, they can talk about this. Oh, they can just give this a go, and I think that is so important. I think as soon as they get there, they see, oh, okay, this is a friendly bunch, let’s just get stuck in and see what happens.

I like to think that as long as you’ve created that initial kind of environment, a warm welcome, then it really does help people relax and just get the most out of the experience. Whether they come just once and never come back or it’s the first of a journey. So I think that is key, just to make sure that they can come and make all the mistakes and feel like they’re doing terribly, but you’ve just got to make sure you’re giving that positive support and praise and for even just coming along and giving it a go.

Natalie Doyle:

Absolutely. Yeah. I think sometimes the anticipation of going to do something new is often worse than actually going to do it, isn’t it? It’s that sort of unknown, not knowing what to expect when you get there. That’s why I suppose women will find it much easier if they do have a friend to go with. It’s much less intimidating if at least you’re going to know one person. That could be much easier than if you just turn up on your own.

Gemma Ali:

I’d love to tell actually about the story of one lady who ended up coming to my sessions. She just happened to be walking her dog when I was setting up for one of my sessions. She said, oh, is it a birthday party? <laugh> No, it’s actually women’s football fitness, I’m starting up these classes. And her face just lit up and she was like, oh, can I come and join? I’m going to take my dog home and I’m going to come back. And I was like, yeah of course. And she came back and oh, she’s just brilliant. And she basically started telling us about how she used to go to this convent girl’s school and every lunch break she would slip off and go and play with the boys at the boys school next door. And without fail, she’d get a detention <laugh>, for unladylike behaviour, <laugh>, but she didn’t care. She just kept going every lunchtime. And I just thought that was the best story and that it used to be like that, and now she’s actually able to come and play and it’s just brilliant. So she’s one of my core group

Natalie Doyle:

<laugh>. Yeah. You need these trailblazers, don’t you, I think, to keep things moving forward?

Gemma Ali:

And it’s great to hear Atia, it’s a very similar experience for her. I can’t believe a neighbour going up and saying that. It’s just, thank God it’s getting better and better. So yeah, respect. That’s brilliant. Amazing.

Simon Wears:

Our refugee female skateboarding session was a bit of a special project for me. And I’ve reluctantly had to hand it over internally to another colleague, but I’m still clinging onto it, <laugh>. Because it’s had such a real positive impact within the community. And it was coming up with a unique provision engaging with the local female refugee community on what could we come up with. So again, I kind of presented this project of, okay, let’s look at skateboarding because there’s nothing in the area of skateboarding projects whatsoever. And the next day I had to get in touch with Skateboarding GB to find out about some local coaches. I wanted the girls to be able to relate to a female skateboarding coach, but the nearest one was about 50 miles away, so it’s like, that’s not going to happen.

So he managed to source a local coach that was about 15, 16 miles away. So that was a male coach that came in. And to be fair, he’s been lovely with the girls. He’s got such a good manner, he’s managed to engage with them. But the important thing for me still was to be able to get the girls to have female role models within the project, within the group, and mentors as such. So I managed to reach out to a couple of female mentors locally and beyond that as well. One of them was Elle England. So Elle England, I know her through some work I do through the Wave Project. Elle’s now based in Cornwall, so I was like, I know Elle, I know that she’ll do an amazing job with the girls as a mentor to inspire the girls.

We did a drop-in session similar to this where she did a virtual session, and she was amazing. And she can relate to the girls, and the girls were able to be inspired by her. Another local female ambassador within sport, is a lady called Nina Sparks. Nina Sparks I think was born and bred within High Wycombe, but she’s a para snowboarder and it’s like, great, okay, let’s get Nina down. So Nina came down to a session and again it was great to see Nina because it’s a board sport. Nina was able to relate to the girls and skateboarding and if they’re goofy foot, if they’re regular, all that kind of stuff, and the tricks and everything else.

So that was great, and then I went a bit beyond that as well and I’d done some work within some SEN schools, and I did a project probably within about four or five weeks with Serena Guthrie. At the time Serena Guthrie was working with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and it was very much empowering boys that are highly vulnerable, and how the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust can support those groups. And Serena was absolutely amazing. I think it comes down to relationships as well, if whether or not a lot of these highly vulnerable individuals might not have the right relationships at home. Serena had them eating out of her hand at every single session. They looked up to her, they were suddenly checking out the netball scores and where she was at and if she’s on TV and all that kind of stuff.

But for me, we talk about leadership and we talk about individuals being inspired, and even though the project was based around boys and we did a football project, the way that Serena was able to inspire the boys within that group was great to see. And I think it was very refreshing and quite healthy, the fact that the boys had that relationship with a female coach and they highly respected her and kind of looked up to her, so that worked really well.

Natalie Doyle:

Yeah, that’s a really interesting point, isn’t it, about how do you utilize female role models that might not be the obvious ones that you would think of in terms of the project that you’re working with. It’s very easy to look at, well if it’s a football project, we need to have football role models, or if it’s a netball project, we need to have netballers or skateboarders or whatever it might be. And actually, it’s about what do those individuals as people demonstrate to the people that you are trying to engage with. And I think it’s really important when you talk about trying to cross different projects and how do you use one to the benefit of the other, which links into Simon, I suppose we’ve touched on your menopause workshop so far, but I’m really interested to get a bit more detail about what it is you do with those and what they look like. So talk to me about the menopause workshops. How did it come about? What is it? How does it link with women being active in the other projects that you run at the foundation?

Simon Wears:

Yeah, so we run a national project called Fit Fans, and we have a male cohort and a female cohort. So last year I think we delivered five, and I was delivering the female-only cohort. And there was myself in the room and I think we had about 16 women that signed up to the course, to the program. It’s a weight management program and we got to about week four or week five, and I couldn’t help but overhear some of the conversations from some of the women to say, look, I’ve got this calorie deficit, I’m being more active I’m eating less. I’m trying to eat the right things, but I’m not seeing any weight loss. And then I just kind of said, do we need to talk about the menopause?

And then this was on a small group, on a table, and then for some bizarre reason, everybody heard <laugh>. Everybody heard me say the word menopause and there were about 18 faces turned around and said, yes, please. So that’s almost where it was born from I guess. And then when the course finished, that course finished probably around April time last year, and then in June in the summer of last year, we delivered the workshop and we delivered that from the stadium. And I would say we’ve got a really good working relationship with the club, but for me it was about creating the right space. So we’ve got a foundation suite, we’ve got access to a room, but for me it wasn’t the right environment.

So the club were really supportive in giving us access to a room that was very relaxed, very calm, there were sofas, there were plants in the room. It was just a very nice relaxed room. And for me, that was set in the right environment and the safe space for that particular project. Obviously, I’m not a menopause expert. I’ve got some lived experience maybe at home kind of being a partner of someone that’s going through it. So I managed to get in touch with a couple of colleagues, one was based at Oxford University where she’s the head of health and wellbeing and that’s Lara Hayward. So I got in touch with Lara and said, look, I’ve got this idea for this project, would you be available?

And she said absolutely. So she brought one of her colleagues down and they delivered the workshop. And going back to what I said earlier, whether it’s through sport, it’s about connecting people and having those relationships in place and there was just this massive sigh of relief to say, oh, thank God, now we can talk about how I’m feeling, what I’m going through, what I’m about to go through because there’s so many changes and it’s not talked about enough. And the one thing that we were very pro as well, was to engage with partners to come down as well, and members of the family so the partner can have a much better understanding of what the partner or the wife is going through or the girlfriend is going through at the time.

So we delivered that. It was done very holistically. It was very non-clinical. The feedback was really positive. We followed up with the survey. Off the back of the survey, it was very clear that there was a need. We took that a stage further and from April of next month, we are going to be delivering four themed menopause workshops around diet, nutrition, sleep, and an open forum. So we managed to source the funding for that through Bucks Healthy Libraries and they’ve been really good, really supportive. So we’re going to be delivering the menopause workshops from a local library. They’re providing the space, we’ve got the external deliverers that are going to come in. And I think it’s not until you put something like that in place not from a male perspective, but let’s talk about it, then suddenly there is the need and it’s like why are we not talking about it?

And that was all born from the women that were probably involved in our Fit Fans program and the adverse effect of menopause and the weight gain as well as the weight management. And I think once we start talking about it, it’s okay, it’s not just me that’s going through it or you that’s going through it. It’s like, half the population will be going through it, so it’s a real powerful thing, but it was nice to see the coming together of the women and that massive sigh of relief to say, okay, right, thank God we can finally talk about it. So it’s a real positive story if I’m honest. I’m looking forward to supporting those four workshops in the next few months.

Natalie Doyle:

Brilliant. I think for anybody listening as well who’s thinking about how can they support women who might be going through the menopause or perimenopause, I think it’s a really good time to start looking into this area as well. I think it’s probably more in people’s consciousness off the back of the Davina McCall documentary and the book. And I think there is that keenness, like you mentioned there, Simon, with the women that you are working with to have these conversations and to also meet and talk to other women who are in the same situation and have that shared experience. So I think it’s certainly a good time to start looking at how you can support those women as much as possible as well.

I’m very aware of time, so I always finish each episode by trying to glean the last bit of expertise and advice that the guests can share with the people who are listening. So I suppose my final question for each of you is, if you have a club or organization who is listening to this episode and is thinking about how they want to increase their sporting offer for women or how they can use sport to build confidence in women what would be your top tip? What would be your top piece of advice for them?

Atia Nazmin:

So from my point of view, I’d say accessibility and don’t overprice it. So for me, any sport I do, I try to do a taster session first initially. And that’s what we did with the walking football so they’re not committing to anything for that session. They can come and drop in if they like it. And we had one lady who dropped in, she was doing another provision with us, she dropped in. She didn’t seem to like it, but it wasn’t meant for her. So it’s not cost her anything other than time. And then there’s other areas where I think the social aspect is the main aspect. Once you get that under your belt, whether it’s WhatsApp or whether you socially go out together as a team afterwards or once a month, I think that social aspect, if you can crack the social aspect you are onto one.

So yeah, accessibility and timing. If the majority of your cohort are working or not available at the weekend, you need to time it around them more so than yourself. I mean, obviously, it has to fit with our work-life balance as well. But the football is in the evening because that’s when the ladies are available now. That’s my time with my family once a week, but I’d rather be spending it with the ladies. When I say that to my children they get jealous <laugh>.

Natalie Doyle:

Brilliant. Thank you. How about you Gemma?

Gemma Ali:

Yeah as Atia mentioned, I think it’s so important to have that free trial first session. So if there’s nothing to lose, you’re just going to come along, give it a go, you are only using your time. And so that’s really important to have a nice accessible venue with nice toilet facilities and changing facilities. It’s not something that all clubs tend to have when it comes especially to female facilities. So that’s really important I think, to have a safe space. And just to be welcome and make sure that you are there to support them. And I mean, I have to say, not one person’s come along to my class and actually not enjoyed it, which has been brilliant.

Some may have thought, okay, it’s maybe a little bit too contact for me but they’ve all absolutely loved it and gone away feeling like it wasn’t time wasted, which is lovely. And one plus I think actually recently is when the teachers were on strike, my group still came along and they brought their kids with them and the kids had a great time, the kids fooled around while we were doing our session. And then we had a fantastic mums and kids match at the end, and we let the kids join in. We had to tell them, okay, you’re not allowed to score, you’ve got to pass. But it was just so nice and also lovely to see that confidence build as well between mums and their kids and being able to play sports together and stuff. Perhaps having that space where if you have to bring the kids with you, then you can, I think is important, if that’s possible.

Natalie Doyle:

That’s great, I feel like I could dedicate a whole episode to that. The importance of parents and kids being active together and how that builds healthy lifestyles is a really good one. And I think that’s a good thing to consider, isn’t it? Because childcare might be an issue for some of the women that you’re trying to engage in your session. So how do you then accommodate that into your offer, if you haven’t got anyone to watch the kids then bring them with you, then I think that’s a really good thing to be considering.

Simon Wears:

To come in on that, we’ve actually secured some funding from public health to do parent-child fitness sessions.

Natalie Doyle:

Yeah.

Simon Wears:

For us, for the child to be inspired by the parent and then the child to inspire the child as well.

Natalie Doyle:

Yeah. That’s a great example to end on. So thank you all so much for giving up your time today. It’s been a really interesting conversation and some great advice for everybody there. So thank you very much.

Gemma Ali:

Thanks, Natalie.

Atia Nazmin:

Thank You.

Simon Wears:

Thanks Natalie.

Natalie Doyle:

I love the variety in that conversation, the importance of supporting women through the menopause and how sport can support that, considering how women might feel when they first turn up to your sessions and the importance of thinking outside the box and being creative with your sporting offer for women. I hope you enjoyed the conversation. As always, please feel free to leave us a review or subscribe if you haven’t already, and I’ll see you again next week for another episode of the Sport Sister Podcast.

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