I come to you from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula
I come to you from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula

Well that seriously escalated!  I am so proud, humbled, grateful, inspired – all the feels – to be involved in the This Girl Can VIC campaign although I’m not sure I fully understood the scale of it all until today.

I sent in an audition video in answer to a facebook casting call back in July last year.  I didn’t watch the video prior to sending, at my husband’s recommendation, as the perfectionist in me would not have pushed the send button.  You can hear Riley in the background and see my stylish Star Wars decor and I’m tired and my blue hair has regrowth but I’m passionate about the topic.  I had to sign away the footage before finding out who was running the campaign and nearly didn’t!  What if it was a cause/product I couldn’t support?!  Am so so so glad I did.  If you’ve missed it – This Girl Can VIC is about encouraging women to get active regardless of you ability, age or body shape.  Its about combating the fear of judgement that stops a lot of women from getting active – being judged for our appearance, being judged for our abilities or being judged for prioritising exercise.

The soft launch to kick off the search for more ambassadors comprised of a photo shoot and the decision to use our audition videos.  And although a little confronting, my Star Wars cushions and blue hair regrowth headed out into the ether… and that is really the whole point – this is real women with real stories.  There are no models, made ups scripts, no photo-shopped insta-perfect images.

I was lucky enough to move through to the next phase of the campaign and be part of the TV commercial.  It was a surreal experience that I’ll never forget.  Myself and 9 teammates got to chant in the change rooms and play derby for the cameras.  I was also photographed and interviewed for print and social media content and remember having to yell my answers over the rain pounding the tin roof of the venue.  There was no guarantee your sport or footage would make it into the commercial so the sneak peak we got in December was made more exciting by seeing skates on the screen!

This last week has been a whirlwind: we’ve had media training, the media launch, the stakeholder launch and seen the ad on the telly.  I was interviewed and appeared on both Channel 7 and Channel 9 news coverage (hint: wear skates and a baby to attract attention 😛 ).  We had the laptop at training last night so we could share the commercial with the league the second it came out and streamed the news off track to catch that as well.  I’ve been literally buzzing to share as its been hush hush until release.  Riley is zonked out as we speak from being so involved and I cannot thank VicHealth and the This Girl Can crew for being so inclusive and supportive of me having my sidekick at all the events.  She loved the commercial and the sound track so much she cried when it stopped the first time we saw it – the kid has good taste 😉

There has been overwhelming positive support for the campaign in general and from friends and family sharing the story and writing lovely things.  There has also been some negative comments on social media, that are not aimed at me personally and I’m not taking them as such, but it has brought home the reality and the scale of the exercise and that it reaching beyond the small bubble of like minded people in my world.  I can only hope the campaign message reaches and helps more women get active than it does give trolls cannon fodder.

A highlight has been meeting the amazing women ambassadors.  We have all genuinely bonded over shared stories about hesitations to start getting active or overcoming barriers to continue exercising.  The magic of this campaign is the amount of times you can relate to an anecdote and how everyone’s story resonates with your personal experiences.  I might’ve even gone a little fangirl over a couple of them, with the selfies to prove it!  I’ve come away inspired and made new friends.

I couldn’t be more proud, honoured, grateful, humbled and lucky to be a part of the movement which encourages more women to get active whenever, wherever and however they choose and hopes to spark social change empowering women to feel comfortable in their bodies, address gender inequality and have wider positive impacts on the whole community.  To be inspired by their stories: meet all the girls that can here.

[dropcap type=”square”] M [/dropcap]iranda

 

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This Girl Can by VicHealth encourages women to get active: “This Girl Can celebrates women who are all kinds of active. Women who are giving their all, or giving it a go, but not giving a damn!” I am a This Girl Can Victoria Ambassador. However, the views expressed here are my views only and not those of VicHealth.

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