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This Girl Can Week returns to support mums to make time for movement

9 Oct 2023
Media Release 4 min read
An adult (Emine) wearing a head scarf and a child on a soccer field

New VicHealth research has highlighted how caring responsibilities and fears of being judged for prioritising exercise continue to prevent mums from getting active throughout Victoria.

Two girls playing cricket on the beach

The findings revealed that

6 in 10


said they were able to be active more regularly prior to having children.


And more than half the women surveyed agreed they were more confident about being active before having kids.


The research also found that almost a third of mums don’t feel supported by their partners to exercise, compared to just 2 in 10 women without kids.

The survey of 1500 women highlighted that:

  • Almost half of women with children surveyed reported being unsure if they can exercise when they have childcare responsibilities.
  • 7 in 10 women with children intend to participate in exercise or sport in the next year, compared to almost 9 in 10 without children.
  • About 1 in 3 of women with children reported they worried about being judged for prioritising exercise compared to only 1 in 5 women without children
  • 8 in 10 women with children surveyed want their kids to see them as a mum who enjoys being active.

This Girl Can – Victoria is a about smashing stereotypes and celebrating real women getting active however, wherever and whenever they choose. The annual This Girl Can Week kicks off from 9-15 October with a range of fun, free (or low-cost), beginner-friendly activities across the state. From aqua aerobics to yoga, no judgement, no strings, just a chance to try something new.

Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas said the week was an opportunity for women to embrace getting active in a way that suits them.

“All women deserve the chance to get active, on their own terms. There’s plenty of inclusive, non-judgmental, and easy to access ways to get active for everyone who wants to take part during This Girl Can Week”

Mary-Anne Thomas
Minister for Health

“Five minutes is better than no minutes, whether it’s chasing the kids around the park or walking around the block, I encourage all women to make time for themselves during This Girl Can Week.”

VicHealth’s Head of This Girl Can – Victoria, Rebecca Ahern said This Girl Can Week is a time for women to put themselves first.

“It can be tricky for women, especially mums, to prioritise their own physical activity while caring for others. As a mum of two girls, I know how hard this can be,” Ms Ahern said.

"It's important that all Victorians have the opportunity to incorporate joyful movement into their daily lives."

"I want to inspire my to kids enjoy movement and have the confidence to try new things, This Girl Can Week is a great opportunity to model that while trying something that fills my own cup."

This Girl Can ambassador Mimi Ghisellini said finding the balance between parenting and staying active helped her feel like herself again.

“As a mum … it’s always kids, kids, kids then work, work, work. After the birth of my first child, I was a bit ashamed of my body, I didn’t really like myself,” she said.

“I started to play tennis again and felt so much better about myself…having that aspect of my life back really helped on overall mental wellbeing.”

To find out more about what’s happening in your area, be sure to check out events near you by heading to or on the This Girl Can – Victoria Facebook page.

Women who can’t make an in-person event during This Girl Can Week are encouraged to check out the free, accessible, and beginner-friendly workouts on the This Girl Can website.


Media contacts


James Lindsey – PR Lead, 0400 714 187 or [email protected]
Shannon Crane – PR Lead, 0432 157 270 E: [email protected]


About This Girl Can - Victoria


This Girl Can – Victoria, now in its sixth year, is a VicHealth campaign aiming to increase physical activity among Victorian women. It focuses on less active women and supports gender equality by challenging traditional gender roles and stereotypes in sport and by celebrating women.

This Girl Can – Victoria is the local implementation of the original ‘This Girl Can’ campaign in England, which is owned and operated by the English Sports Council (Sport England). Sport England used National Lottery funding to create the This Girl Can campaign in 2015. 

VicHealth is the first organisation in the world to license the campaign from Sport England. VicHealth is promoting This Girl Can – Victoria in partnership with a range of organisations and community groups across the state including high profile sporting codes, sporting clubs and charities. 

Inspiring women to get active – however, wherever and whenever they choose, without being judged. 

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.