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Empowering more girls to be active

Women’s motorcross star supports project empowering more girls to be active

Women's motocross star Courtney Duncan has put her support behind HERA - Everyday Goddess, which empowers 10-18 year old girls to be active.

Funded by Sport New Zealand, Aktive - Auckland Sport & Recreation (Aktive), Auckland Council and New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT), the Aktive-led project takes a participant-led approach to engaging girls in sport and recreation in Auckland.

Current New Zealand Senior Woman’s Champion and with eyes on the World title, Courtney is excited to use her story and experience to help engage girls to participate in sport and recreation through HERA - Everyday Goddess.

"It is so important for all girls to have the chance to be active and do so in a way that has their needs at the focus," says Courtney. "As a female, there are many factors that can stop us from wanting to participate in sport or just being active. I hope my journey can help other girls see that you can be active in a way that is unique to you. At the end of the day it is all about giving it a go and having fun."

Sport New Zealand data from its most recent Young People’s survey (2011) identified a much lower level of participation in sport and recreation among teenage girls than teenage boys (63.3% versus 73.8% among 11 to 14-year-olds). These figures fell to 47.8% and 61.6% for teens aged 15 to 18-years.

Recognising and reducing the barriers to participation that young women face in undertaking sport and recreation opportunities underpins the HERA - Everyday Goddess project. It is focused on reverting the trend in drop off rates in participation and supporting girls in physical activity through various programmes including a Samoan language girls-only cricket programme run out of Papatoetoe Cricket Club or a partnership with OnBoard Skate for the Sisters of Shred programme.

Dr Sarah Sandley CEO Aktive is pleased with the progress of the innovative project. With Courtney as an ambassador, it is anticipated it will go from strength to strength.

"More than 1500 girls have been engaged in either formal or informal sport and recreation opportunities through HERA - Everyday Goddess," says Dr Sandley. "We are confident that with the support of a young female rising star like Courtney this will continue to increase.

She adds: "Girls aged 10-18 years are one of Sport New Zealand’s targeted participation groups. HERA puts the needs and interests of the girls we are trying to help to be more active at the centre - the "HERA girls" themselves shape the programme. We figure this is the best way to achieve our goal of previously sedentary girls leading a more active life."


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