The inaugural Halstead Women Like Us Festival was hailed a success by organisers.

Women and girls enjoyed a fitness-filled day at the first-ever ‘Women Like Us Festival’ in Halstead.

From karate and boot camp to walking football and netball, 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 Halstead Leisure Centre and was organised by Active Braintree to showcase the variety of fantastic sports available in the local community. The event featured activity sessions run by a range of local organisations, including Rebound UK, Karate and This Girl Can Essex Ambassadors the Townsend Twins.

Braintree mum Charlotte Woods, who attended the festival, said: “I think it’s really important to put on events like this because we’re mums, or we work, of have so many other things going on in our lives that we don’t have an awful lot of times to ourselves.

“So, when a day is put on like this, where you can dip in and out of half an hour sessions and do as much or as little as you like, it spurs you on to think, ‘do you know what, I’ve got half an hour, I’ll just nip down to the centre’.”

The Women Like Us Festival supports the national This Girl Can campaign. There are now over 170 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, the county sport partnership, and is part of their ambition to change 1 million lives by getting Essex active.

Rachel Lewis, Active Essex Assistant Relationship Manager for Mid Essex, said: “It was great to see so many women participate at the festival and there was a real vibe and sense of community about the event. The latest This Girl Can campaign reflects how hard it can be to fit in physical activity in your busy day. The taster session highlighted how you can get a lot out of a short time and keep it real.”

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