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This Girl Can 2021 campaign supports Victorian women becoming active again following COVID

This Girl Can 2021 campaign supports Victorian women becoming active again following COVID
March 21, 2021

VicHealth has today launched This Girl Can Week (22nd to 28th March), as part of the This Girl Can – Victoria 2021 campaign which aims to support and encourage women impacted by COVID restrictions to get active again.

The week comes as newly-released VicHealth research suggests that during 2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic, women’s physical activity levels were more severely impacted than men’s, with half of Victorian women exercising less than before Coronavirus and three in four women stopping sport.

According to a new VicHealth survey of over 1500 Victorian women, a major challenge faced when exercising during 2020 was juggling home schooling and being able to prioritise exercise.  

That said, of the 59% of women who exercised at home during the pandemic, around 57% used online exercise programs to stay active, with respondents saying they felt less judged at home and it gave them a sense of structure and improved mental wellbeing.  

This Girl Can Week will see a range of free online and in person activities across the state, based on the learnings and insights provided by this latest research. One example, is a new statewide This Girl Can hub, at Melbourne’s Fed Square where in-person and livestreamed and pre-recorded classes will be held throughout the week.  

VicHealth’s Head of This Girl Can – Victoria Melanie Fineberg said This Girl Can Week is the perfect opportunity for women who’ve taken a break from exercise during Coronavirus to get back into it.

Fineberg notes “research has shown us that women’s physical activity has been more severely impacted than men’s due to Coronavirus, with more women exercising less, being inactive and stopping their involvement in sport altogether.

“Women have told us that the increased juggle of home schooling during Coronavirus had an impact on their ability and motivation to prioritise exercise, so we’re here to help.

“We want women to know it’s common to take a break from a sport or other type of activity, and it is completely understandable during a pandemic. There’s no judgement if you haven’t exercised in a while, all that matters is that you give it another go.

“This Girl Can Week is the perfect time to get back into physical activity, with a range of free, fun, non-judgemental activities offered across the state, both in person and streaming online.”

This Girl Can Week is part of the larger This Girl Can – Victoria campaign, which first launched in 2018 and has so far inspired hundreds of thousands of women to get active, right across the state.

Featuring everyday women from right across Victoria, the campaign features women getting active their own way. There are no models or actors, no Instagram influencers or elite athletes - just everyday women getting active however, wherever and whenever they choose.

In order to provide women with more inclusive opportunities to get active This Girl Can Week will be held across Victoria from 22nd to 28th March 2021. Federation Square will host free activities on site and will also stream online classes. Women can find activities and events in their local area via Sports clubs, councils, gyms or community groups interested in hosting a This Girl Can Week activity are encouraged to register as a campaign supporter at

Victorian women are encouraged to join the This Girl Can movement by heading to and joining the community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the #ThisGirlCanVic.

Key statistics:

The new VicHealth survey of over 1500 women found:

• 2 out of 5 (39%) turned to exercising at home for the first time during the pandemic

• 19% of women who exercised at home said they hadn’t been active before

• Of women who exercised at home during the pandemic, around 57% used online exercise programs to stay active

• 40% of women who started exercising at home for the first time have continued to do so.

• Major barriers for women getting active at home included juggling childcare responsibilities and being able to prioritise their exercise.

VicHealth’s Coronavirus Victorian Wellbeing Impact Study of over 2000 Victorians found:

• 1 in 2 (47%) women were exercising less during restrictions than before the pandemic.

• In the second wave of the pandemic, 57% of Victorian women reported low motivation as the reason they decreased or stopped being active (compared with 43% of men).

• Women’s participation in sport was severely impeded with 3 out of 4 women stopping their involvement in sport altogether, whereas only 2 out of 4 men’s sport routines were impacted negatively.

• 67% of women reported they were primarily responsible for helping school aged children with remote learning compared with 24% of men.

Campaign research:

• This Girl Can – Victoria inspired 1 in 7 women aged between 18-65 across the state to get active in 2020.

• 82% of women believed the campaign encouraged women to keep being active.

• More than half of Victorian women are not sufficiently active, participating in less than 30 minutes of physical activity on four or more days a week.

• 52% of Victorian women worry about being judged when exercising

Related Articles

12th March 2021 - Wyndham City creates calendar of free activities ahead of This Girl Can Week

1st December 2020 - VicHealth’s This Girl Can campaign inspired large number of Victorian women to keep moving through COVID restrictions

16th November 2020 - Hepburn Council supports Victoria’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign

2nd March 2020 - VicHealth’s new This Girl Can campaign focuses on positive feelings

14th February 2020 - Information workshop on This Girl Can program offered in Bass Coast

29th August 2019 - Casting call for Victorian women to feature in the next This Girl Can campaign

16th August 2019 - VicHealth set to launch a new This Girl Can campaign

19th August 2018 - VicHealth looks to enhance This Girl Can campaign in regional Victoria

4th April 2018 - Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign makes Australian debut

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