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'This Girl Can' reaches Australia after successful campaigns in UK

VicHealth will adopt This Girl Can’s strategy of showing real women and girls playing sport and getting active.

Sport England’s successful 'This Girl Can' campaign will make its international debut after the non-departmental public body entered into a partnership with VicHealth, the world-first health promotion based in Victoria, Australia.

'This Girl Can', which was funded by The National Lottery, was the first to feature real women exercising in mass advertising, through telling the unedited story of women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and a range of diversities being active and playing sport.

Since 2015, the campaign has featured women who are typically not represented in media. The women shown being active in the adverts reflect teenagers to over 60s, pre and post-natal women, women with disabilities, women with different ethnicities and women of all shapes and sizes.

The three-year partnership was announced at an event today in Melbourne, Victoria and will see VicHealth adopt the 'This Girl Can' strategy of showing real women and girls playing sport and getting active, to help others in the state manage the fear of judgement.

There will be two stages of the partnership, with the first stage being community engagement online and offline, before the full campaign is launch on TV, radio and online.

The decision to hold campaign comes after research by VicHealth show 60% Australian women are not sufficiently active as they participate in less than 30 minutes of physical activity on four or more days a week, with one in five women doing no physical activity in a typical week.

A large part of figures stems from the fact that 41% of Victorian women aged over 25 and over are too embarrassed to exercise in public and almost half finding sporting clubs intimidating.

Jerril Rechter, chief executive officer of VicHealth, said she hoped the Victorian version of the campaign would encourage local women to smash outdated stereotypes and take advantage of the increasing opportunities for women in sport and physical activity.

“Over the last few years there has been a shift in momentum, with more and more opportunities opening up for women and girls to take part in sport and physical activity,” said Rechter.

“We want to see this campaign inspire women to smash old-fashioned stereotypes about what women can and can’t do in sport, in the gym and in their neighborhoods.

“We’ll be celebrating active Victorian women who are doing their thing no matter how they look, how well they do it, or how sweaty they get.”

Read The Drum's behind the scenes insight on the original This Girl Can campaign in Anatomy of an Ad.

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