Have you ever tried Tri-Golf, spinning or high ropes? Dozens of Girlguiding members from the South of Cumbria joined over 2,500 of their peers for a weekend of adventure and adrenalin as they took over Stanley Park in Blackpool for the ultimate sporting event, Energise. There Girlguiding members aged 5 to 25 rose to the challenge of trying out exciting new sporting activities, including BMX-cycling, American football and climbing.  

The event, organised by Girlguiding North West England, with support from Blackpool Council, aimed to encourage girls to get involved with sport. This is partly because a survey of girls’ attitudes found that many girls are hesitant for fear of being judged on their appearance or because they think that sports are seen as more for males than females.

Members of 5th Kendal Rainbows in kit ready for the climbing wall.

5th Kendal Rainbows all kitted up for the climbing wall

Eleven mainly 6-year-old girls from 5th Kendal Rainbows certainly had a huge amount of fun, trying activities from touch rugby to athletics and Zumba to yoga. For Ryleigh Bastille her “favourite thing was doing the inflatables and the conga and the Macarena”, whereas Katherine Conway “loved it all but doing the Macarena was my absolute favourite, and the climbing”.

Unit leader Jo Conway judged the event a “great opportunity to experience a number of new sports at a large event, with girls of all ages from all sections of Girlguiding.”

This was echoed by 11-year-old Naomi Oliver from 1st Burton and Holme Guides who, after thoroughly enjoying touch rugby, said that “it helped me meet new people that I would not have normally talked to.” Six girls, aged nine to twelve, from her unit also tried fencing, table tennis, high ropes and lacrosse. They thought that “high ropes was the scariest” but, as unit leader Jane Street commented, “they could do the lower course first which gave them the confidence to move up to the higher course and they loved it!” And Leanne Tummey (12) admired the Rainbows because “they had a go at everything”.

Guide on the high ropes at Energise

10-year-old Erin Scott on the high ropes

According to Jane Street “it was a great opportunity for the girls to gain confidence through trying new things. We could see them really getting involved with activities outside of their comfort zone. It was great for promoting physical activities for girls and young women in a safe, girl only environment.”