BLOG: Reflecting on the This Girl Can Ambassador programme
The This Girl Can Ambassadors programme has come to an end and AoC Sport’s development officer Sam Strickson reflects on the successes of the programme and how it was delivered.
The 2020/21 academic year was not exactly how we thought it would be, but despite the challenges we were still able to engage 54 colleges to recruit 113 This Girl Can Ambassadors.
This year we introduced a new e-learning site for each ambassador to upskill themselves in the project, action planning and being an advocate and influencer. Each Ambassador completed an action plan to engage more students and had £100 to help implement their ideas.
The role of the Ambassadors is to promote and inspire other females within their colleges to participate in sport and physical activity whilst raising awareness of the Sport England This Girl Can campaign.
It has been great to see the resourcefulness of the ambassadors to enable more females in their college to get active this year, despite the numerous lockdowns affecting a lot of the events and interventions that were planned prior to the January lockdown.
We were particularly impressed by the ambassadors at Havant & South Downs College who created a This Girl Can, You Can campaign using brilliantly designed posters and social media assets to promote their in-person sessions just for girls in their college. They were clear in their marketing that the sessions were for everyone no matter their shape, size, ability, or background.
Peter Symonds Sixth Form College ambassadors delivered weekly yoga, girls only gym, zumba and cheerleading sessions for their students and when the lockdowns started, they didn’t just cancel them they amazingly were able to adapt their delivery to ensure the sessions continued over Google Classroom, Zoom and YouTube workouts, to benefit the female students at their college.
At the end of the year, we conducted a Personal Development Survey to find out what colleges and ambassadors thought of the programme. We had some great responses from the Ambassadors, with 95% agreeing that being part of the programme improved their communication skills and 91% agreed it improved their leadership skills.
As part of the survey, colleges also gave us their top tips on how to best engage new female students to get active. This sharing of best practice will be an excellent resource for colleges going forward and will also give us useful learnings to improve the student experience next year. We look forward to building on the successes of the programme next year.
To be part of the This Girl Can Ambassador programme, make sure your college is signed up to the Leadership Academy.