Ladies enjoyed a fitness-filled day with the return of the Women Like Us festival in Colchester where they tried 11 different activities including ((Bounce)), Carnival Fitness, Tai Chi and Yoga. The taster sessions aimed to encourage women to try something new and take their first steps to becoming more active in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Some of the most popular sessions included ‘Miss Fits’ led by This Girl Can Essex ambassador Becky Scott, and ‘Shake That’ led by fellow ambassador Holly Martin. There was also an information area, where participants could have Health Checks. The event was supported by the University of Essex Volunteer team.

Festival goer Tania Stacey, from Colchester, said: “It is so important for these events to take place. I exercise to feel good. If you’re feeling down, exercise is great to make you feel better about yourself. The festival is so empowering for women and you can see the smiles on everyone here today.”

Shake That with This Girl Can Essex ambassador, Holly Martin

Lucy Taylor, an ambassador and instructor of Clubbercise, Zumba and Rave Tone, said: “I used to be the girl at the back of the class, too self-conscious. I now teach in the dark to help the ladies with their confidence. The Women Like Us festivals are inspiring people to get involved in physical activity because movement makes you feel so much better.”

Clubbercise taking part with This Girl Can Essex ambassador Lucy Taylor

There are now over 270 This Girl Can Essex ambassadors across the county who inspire women in their local community to get active, meet new people and have fun. The ambassador programme is run by Active Essex and is part of their ambition to change 1 million lives by getting Essex active.

Hayley Chapman, Active Essex Relationship Manager for North Essex, said: “It was great to see so many ladies participate in so many different activities at the festival. The latest This Girl Can campaign, ‘Fit Got Real’, reflects how hard it can be to fit in physical activity in your busy day. The taster sessions at the festival highlighted how much you can get out of a short session and the activities that are taking place in the local community.”

For more information about Active Essex and the This Girl Can Campaign, visit www.activeessex.org