Southend Hula Hooping Session

Over 60 women and girls enjoyed a fitness-filled afternoon at the second This Girl Can Essex Festival to come to Southend this year.

From hula hooping and clubbercise to zumba and yoga, the free festival offered taster sessions for a range of activities and sports with the aim of encouraging women and girls to try out something new or take their first steps to becoming more active in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

The festival took place at Southend’s Hamstel Junior School and was organised by Active Life and This Girl Can Essex ambassadors to showcase the variety of fantastic sports available in the local community. The event featured short activity sessions which were held by a fantastic team of local instructors and Cycle Southend.

Other taster sessions included boxercise and Body Blitz, as well as health and wellbeing information on coping with stress and women’s health which were delivered by Ace Lifestyle.

There are now over 350 This Girl Can Essex ambassadors across Essex who inspire women in their local community to get active, meet new people and have fun. The ambassador programme is run by Active Essex, the county sport partnership, and it is part of their ambition to change 1 million lives by getting Essex active.

Wendy North, aged 47 from Rochford, said; “It was great to take part in the event and try out lots of new activities. I always wanted to try out Zumba and I also hadn’t hula-hooped since I was a kid – so it was an eye-opener as to what is out there. It was also wonderful to meet lots of different women who all shared the same goal of living a healthier, more active lifestyles!”

Dawn Emberson, Active Essex Relationship Manager for South Essex and Thematic Lead for Children & Young People, said; “It was fantastic to see so many women participate in the festival, many who were trying out activities for the very first time. There was a great vibe and real sense of community spirit on the day and we hope all that took part feel inspired to continue or increase the amount of regular exercise and activity within their daily lives.”

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For more information about Active Essex and the This Girl Campaign, visit