By James Lloyd
Cardiff University celebrated its This Cardiff Girl Can week last week – a campaign aimed at empowering women in sport.
Its aims are to eliminate the stigma surrounding women’s sport and to inspire women to be active.
Cardiff University hosted its own week of celebrating and raising awareness for women’s sport, which AU President Elin Harding has hailed a success.
The Athletic Union hosted daily challenges and a talk evening with Becky Oatley, a Welsh international Netball player and Charlotte Arter, a Team GB runner in attendance giving speeches.
Harding, who recently announced the news that the university women’s rugby team will play at the Principality Stadium at Welsh Varsity, was delighted with the campaign last week.
She said: “This Cardiff Girl Can was a huge success last week. It’s all about empowering women and celebrating women who are active and enjoying sport.
“We held daily challenges last week and we had loads of people getting involved. We had some excellent performances and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. Rhino team wear, who supply Team Cardiff sports kit, also helped back the event.”
Harding enjoyed Wednesday afternoon watching and supporting the Cardiff teams in BUCS action – with the Netball first team the standout performers winning 64-29 against arch-rivals Cardiff Met.
The weekly Students’ Union night, YOLO, was also pink themed to support the week of women’s sport.
It has been a fantastic fortnight for women’s sport, but the main aim is to ensure people become active.
Alice Edwards, a third year English Language student, echoed Harding’s thoughts, adding the Tuesday night talk was beneficial.
“I found the talk really motivating and inspiring,” said Edwards.
“Seeing how both the girls [Oatley and Arter] managed their sports whilst at university shows real commitment and urges me to actually get up and go to the gym when I only have nine hours of lectures a week.
“Charlotte runs 80 miles a week and Becky has to get up and train at 6:30am. It has definitely motivated me to go to the gym between lectures rather than catching up on Jeremy Kyle.
“They both spoke about different setbacks that they had to overcome, but explained how it has made them better at their sport. It motivates me as it is about not letting negatives stop you and also applying that to university and life in general, I am very glad I attended.”
But ultimately, the main message from the talk and the week in general is: “Don’t do it unless you enjoy sport and activity. It is all about enjoyment.”