Imperial Girls Can Profiles

This week we are promoting what 'Imperial Girls Can' do. 

Below are some expamples of what different memebers of clubs, departments and campuses are getting involved with and why female engagement is important to them. 

Imperial Girls Can Profiles

Ireti Webb - Senior HR Manager

 

Name:         Ireti Webb  This Girl Can

Role:      Senior HR Manager - Faculty of Engineering 

What is your favourite sport? 

I find it difficult to choose a favourite! I love watching Athletics and Tennis but also enjoy Basketball and Football.

What is the best thing about participating in sport? 

It has been a long time since I have participated in team sport but for the last 13 years I have been exercising regularly and attending fitness classes or the gym most days of the week. I am really lucky in that I am able to fit this exercise into my working day over lunchtimes and this has made a great difference in my ability to manage my stress levels and my ability to have a good night’s sleep which I had previously struggled with. I always feel fantastic after a good workout and find that the break from my desk and the activity gives me a boost to my productivity afterwards. I really thrive on group exercise as the others in the room help to spur me on to push myself beyond what I would do if I was by myself in the gym.

Have you ever faced any barriers to sport participation as a female? 

I was quite good at Basketball at school but was put off from participating seriously as competitively it was for the males only. I have also found it difficult at times to manage my competing priorities to fit exercise in but I have learned to balance this better over time. 

If you could change the perception of females in sport what would it be? 

That weight training makes you look manly  - not true. It makes you physically stronger and helps you burn calories for longer which has definitely come in handy for me in my everyday life.

What can the media do to support the development of female sport? 

Generally they could cover more female team sports but I also think that outside of sports media they should champion women who are and look healthy, fit, athletic and strong rather than the typical model look that is prevalent. Having those type of role models is important for young girls to aspire to. 

What advice would you give to any females that are unsure about participating in sport and activity? 

I would say that it is really important to keep active. Apart from the health benefits and meeting new people, it makes me feel so good, look better and I can eat more! What’s not to love!?

Jane Neary - Director of Campus Services

This Girl Can Name:   Jane Neary 

Role:   Director of Campus Services 

"I love the way sport and physical activity makes me feel, and I find it the best way to reduce stress levels and have some “me” time away from my busy life. Not only does taking part help me maintain a healthy weight but it has also really aided my recovery from a bad back condition. Sport Imperial offers a vast variety of group exercise classes and I believe there is a class out there for everyone. The instructors are so encouraging and supportive, ensuring that you have alternative exercises to do if you are injured and I believe I achieve so much more than what I could do in the gym. 

I would encourage as many people as possible to try something new - come along to a class or a sport session and you’ll hopefully experience all the added values which sport brings, such as teamwork, higher self-confidence and greater health awareness - you will find it strangely addictive too! It is also a great way to be part of the wider college community in a less formal setting."

Women's Ultimate - BUCS Indoor Regional Report

This Girl Can On the 17 and 18 November, Imperial's Ultimate Frisbee club competed at the BUCS indoor regional championships and they returned with some outstanding results. See below the full match report for This Girl Can week!

Club: Imperial Ultimate Womens  

Event: BUCS Indoor Regionals 

“Last weekend Imperial's Ultimate Frisbee club sent two women’s teams to BUCS Indoor Regionals, the national qualifier event. Imperial 2 played valiantly putting up impressive performances all weekend, holding 16th seed out of 23 and beating some first teams along the way! They even ended up the second best second team there only behind UCL 2. They went from having never played together to implementing very similar structures to the first team and being able to adapt within a game, showing real promise for the future! 

The first team's story begins 4 years ago, where they narrowly missed qualifying for nationals. Since then they have gone from strength to strength, knocking on the door of the title with a sudden death loss in last year's final, but never winning. This year, they wanted the win more than ever: recruiting Imperial alumni David Pryce as Women's coach and training smart on and off the field paved the path for success. Hard work pays off, with Imperial 1 going unbeaten all weekend finishing with a decisive 8-2 victory over UCL 1 in the final! Lifting the trophy for the first time ever was made even better by the team having the fewest points scored against them of any team in the UK, so we can't wait to see what they can do on the national stage in February!”

This Girl Can - Ultimate

Wendy Lu Chen

 

This Girl Can Name: Wendy Lu Chen 

What is your favourite sport? 

It's always been running but I'm recently getting into climbing and its real fun!

What is the best thing about participating in sport? 

 The people! I hate doing sports alone, I always need someone to be with because I push myself much more when I am with someone else (also, prevents you from being lazy and skipping the sports session!). One of my favourite pass times is going to the swimming pool and then chilling in the jacuzzi/sauna with friends!

 Have you ever faced any barriers to sport participation as a female? 

Yes, many times, especially in football. I've always loved playing football just because I grew up surrounded by my brother and male cousins. But when it comes to playing football in school, it was always weird to have me there... Needless to say, I was one of the best players! So yeah, girls can!

If you could change the perception of females in sport what would it be?  

I'd just love to be able to ask 'hey, can I join?' and not been weirdly stared with a reply in the likes of 'can you really play? aren't you going to hurt yourself?' 

What can the media do to support the development of female sport? 

It's clear that watching a female match/competition is just not a thing. People get crazy with the world cup, not with a super tight match of Muguruza.

What advice would you give to any females that are unsure about participating in sport and activity? 

I think you should just show them how much better you are than them… that you are not weak!

Leah Denoun - Active Imperial Activator

Imperial Netball Club- EllenName: Leah Denoun

Role: Active Imperial Activator 

Degree: Biological Sciences

What is your favourite sport and what do you enjoy about it? 

My favourite sport is football. I have been playing it for 10 years and love how my teammates have truly become part of my family.The sense of camaraderie present between athletes and how it enables you to push your limits.

 Have you ever faced any barriers to sport participation as a female?

I am extremely grateful to say that I haven't. I have always had respectful teammates and coaches that viewed me as their equal. I trained with the boys until I was 16 years old for my school's football team and it was always a pleasure.

If you could change the perception of females in sport what would it be?

Even though the perception of females in sport has highly evolved, I would love it if it were normalized that women in sports have many different body types. Females don't have to look a certain way to be athletes. It's how you play the sport that matters, not how you look while playing it.

What can the media do to support the development of female sport?

Not be afraid of transmitting female sport on the most watched channels during primetime. High level women's competitions should be covered as much as the men's.

 What advice would you give to any females that are unsure about participating in sport and activity?

 Go for it! Don't hesitate to put yourself out there and try new things. You'll meet tons of nice people, have fun while exercising and  inspire other women to do it too.

Lizzie Eustace - Digital Media Manager

Imperial Devils- Ice HockeyName:         Lizzie Eustace 

Role:      Digital Media Manager - Information Communication Technologies

What motivates you to participate in sport/physical activity?

My job involves sitting in front of a computer for the majority of my working day, attending a lunchtime class at the gym or directly after work helps me both mentally and physically, allowing me to expel some energy, relieve muscle tension and benefit from that post workout high. I also have an unrelenting sweet tooth and passion for all food, making time to work out 3 times a week for 45 minutes makes me absolutely okay about being signed up to all three of my works weekly cake clubs!

 If you could change the perception of females in sport what would it be?

 To remove all gender stereotypes and discrimination in sporting activities. To get to a place where the ‘this girl can campaign’ is no longer needed as there are equal numbers of women participating in sport as men with no fear of judgement.

What advice would you give to any females that are unsure about participating in sport and activity?

 Find out what motivates you. Are you training for a specific event, building your strength to work on your health, looking to meet people or just want to feel fitter when climbing stairs? Once you know what your goal is you can get involved in physical activities that actually suit you. I personally find running a chore and really hard work, so instead of pounding the pavements I like to go for long countryside walks, attend gym classes which break up cardio and strength and take part in sociable gym activities, such as rock climbing. Once you know what sort of exercise suits you, you are more likely to stick to it and make it part of your weekly routine. Once you get in the habit of working out it becomes a lot easier and less frightening.

 Why do you like participating in classes at Imperial?

I much prefer attending classes as opposed to a session in the gym. Classes are a lot more sociable, fun and have a set time limit. The instructors at Imperial are really professional and motivational and with such a varied class timetable on offer it helps to shake up your workouts and introduce you to something new… I never ever thought I would actually enjoy going to a weekly circuit training session! The other good thing about classes at Imperial is that I can attend them on my lunch break which helps to break up my week and gets me out of the office.

Stephanie Frances Hewitt - Active Imperial Activator

Steph Athletics

Name:    Stephanie Frances Hewitt

Role:      Active Imperial Activator 

Degree:     PhD Student - Dyson School of Design Engineering 

 

What is your favourite sport?

It’s a toss-up between athletics and figure skating. I swapped skates for spikes in 2015 and after 15 years of skating, ran my first track race in 2016 but I can’t pick a favourite!

What is the best thing about participating in sport?

My teammates! Almost all of my closest friendships have been made through sport. From the early rises to cold wintery nights spent training together to days and weekends away for competition, we support and encourage one another to be the best versions of ourselves. 

Have you ever faced any barriers to sport participation as a female?

I don’t think being female has ever limited me in either of my sports. Maybe I’ve just been lucky but I’ve always been surrounded by an amazing support network of family, friends and coaches. 

 If you could change the perceptions of females in sport what would it be?

I think the perception of females in sport is becoming much more positive but the fact that we even need to be having this conversation shows there is still a long way to go to equality. We should all view women as powerful individuals with the capability to succeed in whichever sport we choose.  

What can the media do to support the development of female sport?

The obvious answer here is to increase media coverage of female sport. I read about or hear of male sporting achievements daily but reporting on females is much less frequent and rarely talked about as much. 

What advice would you give to any females that are unsure about participating in sport and activity?

Just go for it! Whether you want to start a specific sport with a goal in mind like running your first 5k or want to increase your daily physical activity with something like lunchtime badminton, my advice would be to try different things until you find what works for you. When you find what you enjoy most, before you know it, your favourite part of the day will be when you exercise!