Vanessa backs campaign for ‘real women’

Vanessa Lavender with her children Annabel and Benjamin
Vanessa Lavender with her children Annabel and Benjamin

A MOTHER-OF-TWO is singing the praises of a campaign that encourages women to engage in sport and exercise.

It was during the first week of attending a new Worthing based fitness group that Vanessa Lavender, 40, of Findon Road, Findon, saw an advert for Sport England’s nationwide ‘This Girl Can’ campaign.

The campaign aims to challenge society’s preconceptions of femininity, which prevent women from participating in sport.

Vanessa said she could relate to the ‘real women’ featured in the campaign.

“I’ve always liked the idea of getting in shape and one day improving my fitness, but trying to fit it in when you have two young children is not possible,” she said.

“During my first week of Your Next Move Fitness (YNM) I saw the This Girl Can campaign. Straightaway I loved it and could see me and a few other YNM ladies in those fab inspirational women.

The campaign hits the nail on the head

Vanessa Lavender

“The campaign hits the nail on the head. Yes it is intimidating going to a fitness class for the first time when you know you’re not a super model and yes, there are bits of me that might jiggle when I wish they didn’t. This aside, the campaign really showed me that no matter what shape or fitness level it is possible to have fun and be happy exercising, overcoming any barriers you might have.”

Vanessa can now fit into jeans she has not been able to for five years, thanks to her training.

Your Next Move Fitness was founded by local athletes, Emma Macready and Martin Footman.

Vanessa attends two weekly sessions with the group and enjoys swimming at the weekend with her two children, Annabel aged five and Benjamin aged three.

Emma said: “This Girl Can is exactly what YNM promotes. Exercise not only improves health but strengthens friendship, reduces the stress of work and gives us physical and emotional strength.

“We’re so glad that Vanessa feels the way she does now about exercising. She really is Worthing’s very own ‘girl that can’.”

Follow @YNMFitness on Twitter for more information. Watch the This Girl Can video at