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February 2024

Empowering Teenage Girls Through Sports: A Success Story from Cork Sports Partnership

In 2023 Cork Sports Partnership targeted a number of different avenues when it came to Teenage Girls and getting them active. They have coordinated a variety of taster sessions and events of nonmainstream sports in the hope to spark an interest among the cohort in something new they would have never thought of trying themselves.

Cork Sports Partnership targeted teenage girls with various sporting initiatives throughout the year. The first taster programme ran for five weeks with a mix of activities. These activities included climbing with Cork Climbing Club, Inline Skating in the Marina with Cork Figure Skating Association, Introduction to Gym in Leisure World Bishopstown, weightlifting in the Marina with Cork Weightlifting Club, and Kayaking with Inniscarra Sailing & Kayaking Club. Each activity was fully attended, and the feedback provided by the girls was:

“I got to try something new that I wouldn’t have done or had the courage to do thinking it would be difficult to do and expensive. It gave me courage and helped me make new friends”.

“It was fun, and I enjoyed learning how to kayak and finding another way to stay active.”

The second project Cork Sports Partnership coordinated was a five-week outdoor taster programme. This took place in Ballyhass Activity Centre in Mallow. Participants took part in Archery, Climbing, Kayaking, Standup Paddle boarding, and Wakeboarding. Another successful programme ran in 2023 was a four-week surfing programme in Inchydoney Surf School. 16 girls took part in the programme.

This year the Cork Sports Partnership are looking to expand the range of programmes targeting teenage girls. They are organising the second phase of the two taster programmes similar to 2023 along with the surfing programme in Inchydoney. Other programmes we are running are a public six-week beginners weightlifting programme with Cork Weightlifting Club and two schools’ programmes with Clonakilty Community College and Mount Saint Michael Rosscarbey with Howling Heart Weightlifting Club. They have also started a six-week Badminton programme in Bishopstown, a six-week Teen Start Box programme in Clonakilty and a Teen Try Tennis Programme in Kerry Pike. Lastly, starting soon they have three schools taking part in a new Leaving Cert Girls Yoga and Mindfulness programme.

All of our public programmes are accessible and bookable online though our website www.corksports.ie. If there are any teachers interested in taking part in any of the schools’ programmes, we have running please feel free to contact Louise or James on lburke@corksports.ie or jkirby@corksports.ie to express your interest.

Along with all of the programmes they are running in 2024,there are multiple other sports and activities girls can get involved in. All the programmes and groups they work with in the Cork Sports Partnership have avenues for girls to continue when the programme finishes. Be it becoming a member of the club, being able to book into the activity at a time that suits them. All activities can be done individually or with a friend or small group. We encourage all girls to get out and try activities they may never have taken part in before. It is an amazing way to make friends and clear your mind from the stresses of school and day to day life.



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