09 Mar IWD 2020: Inspiring Women in Fitness
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. It’s a time to celebrate everything that women have achieved, while also acknowledging the work that’s still to be done to raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
To mark the day, we wanted to shine a light on some women who inspire us daily. Whether they are industry experts, trailblazers, athletes or business owners, they all motivate and encourage us. It would be impossible to name everyone, so here are just a few of the incredible women doing amazing things in our industry…
Former Paralympian Sophia is the founder of the incredible Superhero Series, superhero themed Para-Triathlon and Para-Cycling events. The Superhero Series is the UK’s one and only disability sports series for the Everyday Superhero! Sophia’s mission is to give the UK’s 13.3million people with disabilities their own mass-participation sports events. Powered by Marvel, the Superhero-Tri and Winter Wonderwheels events have been created to welcome one and all, so participants can fly-solo, recruit a super-sidekick, or race with a team. These amazing events are broadcast on Channel 4 so keep your eyes peeled!
Edwina (Eddie) Brocklesby
Eddie is the founder and director of Silverfit, a charity dedicated to promoting the health and social benefits of physical activity for older people. She’s also a world champion triathlete and the oldest British woman to complete an Ironman triathlon at the age of 74. Eddie hasn’t always been an athlete. She only started running at the age of 50. Over the years, her athletic accomplishments have brought her invaluable benefits, not only in terms of health and fitness, but overall wellbeing as well. She is a testament to the fact that it’s never too late to get active and inspires people around the world – young and old – to get active or take on fitness challenges they may have otherwise thought impossible. Since starting Silverfit in 2013, the charity has gone from strength to strength and now has 17 venues across nine London boroughs. She also recently published a book called Irongran about her life and experience training for and completing Ironman distance triathlons. If you’re looking for some inspiring reading material, we highly recommend it!
Global fitness authority, speaker, consultant and now best-selling author of her new book ‘Building a Badass Boutique,’ Emma Barry is an undoubtable force. Armed with 25 years’ experience, Emma is fluent in fitness trends. Her new book is already an international best-seller and a must-read for anyone looking to open their own studio or grow their current business.
Emma has held senior roles in group fitness programming, product development, global training and people and culture. She was a founding member of the group fitness juggernaut Les Mills International and previously Director of Group Fitness Programming for the luxury-lifestyle brand, Equinox. Emma is currently advising Basic-Fit – the fastest growing value-based chain in Europe – and drives innovation, product development and people initiatives globally.
A sought-after speaker for events and podcasts around the world, she serves on several boards and advisories including Women in Fitness Association (WIFA). At Action PR, we listen in admiration and enthusiasm when she takes to the stage at international business forums, trend panels and women’s events.
A formidable woman, who is highly respected across the boxing and fitness industry. Cathy was the second woman to acquire a professional boxing license in the UK, before going on to win both the English and European titles and rank number three in the world.
Now she is a professional boxing coach, Personal Trainer/Sports Performance Coach and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. She runs empowerment workshops for women, which, by using her own life and sporting experience, helps women improve their physical and mental strength.
Cathy is also an ambassador for The Lotus Flower Charity, on a project called Boxing Sisters. The Lotus Flower Charity supports women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement. As part of the programme, Cathy travelled to Iraq to train women from the community to continue the programme for other women and girls. This has ensured that the programme is accessible to all female residents and sustainable by employing newly certified trainers.
When people say ‘fitness influencer’ – you usually picture the Gymshark-clad, posterior-posing individuals of insta-fame with thousands of followers. However, one inspiring female in fitness we often overlook is the fitness journalist. Both professionally and personally inspiring to us all here at Action PR is one we regularly work with; global news writer and fitness columnist Rachel Hosie, from Insider.
Read any of Rachel’s work and you’ll understand very quickly that she isn’t just interested in fitness for the sake of her job. She lives and breathes wellness and fitness in a very approachable and real way. She gets to the real nitty gritty when it comes to the ‘rose-tinted glasses’ of the fitness industry and especially Instagram and constantly busts the common myths around fitness and being healthy. By writing about the real world of fitness, often asking the experts the difficult questions and being incredibly fact-based in her reporting, Rachel inspires us to share stories, news and information that is useful and understandable to real people who love fitness or want to be more involved in it.
A Mile In Her Shoes is a charity that creates, leads and supports running fitness groups for women who may be vulnerable to homelessness. It was founded by the inspirational Nicola Miller in 2013 when she identified that the health and other benefits of running could help improve social inclusion opportunities for women affected by homelessness. By removing any barriers and providing all the appropriate clothing and shoes to enable women to run together, she has built a vital and supportive community. A Mile in Her Shoes is a small charity, run entirely by volunteers. It is growing steadily as running coaches are inspired by Nicola to support her extraordinary work. As so many runners know, running isn’t just about how fast and far you can go. It can give you confidence, health and a huge sense of achievement. The mutual support and sheer inclusiveness of running together in a group is powerful and empowering. Nicola had great vision in creating A Mile In Her Shoes and we admire her for making it a reality.
Originally born in Somalia, Featherweight Boxing Champion Ramla Ali first fled to England as a child refugee during the Somalian Civil War. Ramla did not let her past define her and has since become a force of nature in women’s boxing. She currently has several British and International titles under her belt and has become the first male or female boxer in history to have won an international gold medal whilst representing Somalia. Ramla was also recognised as one of British Vogue’s most inspirational women in 2019, for all the work she has done with Unicef in aid of Syrian refugee camps. Ramla’s sights are now set on gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics so watch this space…