Last updated: 05 Sep, 2018

More than 285,000 Victorian women have been empowered to get active as a result of health promotion foundation VicHealth’s powerful This Girl Can – Victoria campaign.

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The campaign, which features real Australian women instead of professional athletes or toned Instagram models, inspired an incredible one in seven Victorian women to get moving.

VicHealth’s edgy campaign is based on Sport England’s viral hit This Girl Can. It’s proven to be a winning formula, with the Australian version achieving the equivalent level of success as its English counterpart in its first year.

After watching This Girl Can – Victoria, many women were inspired to start a sport or physical activity for the very first time. Others were motivated to get back into exercise after taking a break.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said This Girl Can – Victoria was working to increase the number of Victorian women getting active and healthy.

“This Girl Can – Victoria is about women smashing outdated stereotypes. More women are turning to sport, and that means a healthier and happier Victoria,” Minister Hennessy said.

“It’s fantastic to see that Victorian women have embraced this wholeheartedly, and discovered new hobbies or talents that will stay with them for life.”

“We hope this campaign continues to inspire as many women as possible to get active and prove that in Victoria, there are no barriers for women and girls to play the games or do the exercise they love.”

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the campaign is achieving its goal of empowering women to smash their fears of judgement and intimidation holding them back from being active.

“Before the campaign, our research showed more than half of Victorian women were worried about being judged while exercising – for 41 per cent this fear of embarrassment was so bad it stopped them from getting out and active,” Ms Rechter said.

“Now over three quarters of women who’ve seen the campaign feel it’s helped women increase their confidence and overcome their fear of being judged when being active.

“We’ve heard incredible stories from women who would only exercise at night because they felt too embarrassed to go out during the day; women who’ve been heckled while on their bikes or at the gym, who now stare down their inner and actual critics and get active anyway.

“This is just the beginning of a long-term journey. These are fantastic results for year one of the campaign, but we know there’s still work to be done. Three in five Australian women are not sufficiently active and one in five don’t do any physical activity in a week.

“We want all women – no matter how sweaty they get, how red their face is or how good they are – to feel comfortable about getting out there and giving physical activity a go. That’s what This Girl Can – Victoria is all about.”

The next phase of This Girl Can – Victoria will launch early next year with the aim of inspiring even more women to join the movement. Women wanting to get involved should head to thisgirlcan.com.au and join the community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the #ThisGirlCanVIC.

Watch This Girl Can – Victoria.