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Last week saw De Montfort University’s (DMU) second launch of the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. The whole idea of the campaign is to encourage people trying new sports and exercises and to make sure they feel great whilst doing it. I decided I would take this opportunity to try something new. I went to Badminton and Boxing last week and this week started Jiu-Jitsu.

Trying something new, especially a sport, can be nerve-racking. Particularly when you aren’t a real sporty person. For many, the thought of getting into a new sport is met with hesitance; we know there will be people stronger, more agile, and so we become reluctant to get involved. Is it normal to feel like this? Absolutely. But should we feel like this? Absolutely not.

We are always told experience is one of the most crucial things in life, but all experience has a beginning. Everyone started at the bottom. Granted, starting a sport now won’t guarantee you a place in the next Olympics, but who cares? You shouldn’t be trying a new sport because you think there is a prize at the end of it, you should do it because it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, or it’s something that you never thought you could do.

Challenge yourself to try the thing that scares you. Push yourself into things that you always thought you were never good enough for. If it doesn’t work out, you move on. You try something else.

More often than not, when you try a new sport, you will find something who is feeling the exact same way as you. This can be one of the most relieving things ever. Share your nerves together, talk about your strengths and weaknesses and see how you can help each other. Don’t pressure yourself into being better than them because not everything has to be a competition.

This is one of the focal points of This Girl Can. Don’t compete, empower. There has always been such a huge stereotype that girls are always competing with one another.  We bring others down in order to raise ourselves up. But this simply isn’t true. Find yourself great girlfriends and you will be surrounded by more support than you could ever imagine.

Another important point I learned from trying some new sports is to accept that you’re not going to be good at it straight away. Learn to laugh at yourself when you fall over or miss the Shuttlecock when it’s right above you. No one expects you to go to a class and come out the other side as a world champion. Failure is part of life so the quicker you make friends with it, the easier really.

If you are thinking of trying out a new sport, you don’t have to look far. Being at DMU means you are spoilt for choice. There countless of sport societies to join as well as the QEII Gym which offers an array of FREE classes to go to such as Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing and Pilates.

You can check out all of the societies here: https://www.demontfortsu.com/activities/societies/browse-societies/

And all the info about the QEII Gym here:

https://www.demontfortsu.com/activities/societies/browse-societies/

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Posted by Casey Whiting

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