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Women in the St Matthews and Highfields areas of Leicester, are being encouraged to get active as part of a new community initiative launched today by Leicester City Football Club.

Leicester City in the Community’s ‘Active Women’ initiative, launched earlier today (Thursday, May 12) at St Matthews Cruyff Court, with dozens of women turning out to sample activities like basketball and football.

The aim of the five year project, which is based in the city’s Highfields and St Matthews areas, is to get women aged 18-49 to enjoy the benefits of being active.

“It can be anything from having a cup of coffee and enjoying a game of Jenga, all the way to maybe playing basketball or football at some point”, said Sarah Jones Active Women’s Strategic Lead.

“We’ve got five years now to really make a bit of a legacy here and we feel we can make a real impact in the St Matthews and Highfields areas”, she added.

“It’s not just about what we deliver on the day. It’s about how we can develop people – how we can inspire them to do more long term, so that in five years when we have to pick up and go, there may be people here carrying the torch and continuing what we’re seeing here today”.

Picture: Pukaar News

As well as taster sessions, women also enjoyed an exercise class and a mental health workshop at today’s event, which highlighted the importance of physical activity for mental wellbeing.

Sport sessions were led by Zahra Zahid, a former participant who is now employed as an engagement coach for Leicester City in the Community.

“I want to be the girl who encourages other women, and gets more women involved within the sport”, she told the Leicester Times.

“Hopefully we’ll have more female role models in the future because that’s one of the things I think we need more in this community. As someone from an Asian girl background, it takes a lot of courage to actually get out, but the turn out today is amazing”, she added.

“In a community that we’re in right now, St Matthews, there’s a lot of people within the community and a lot of people can benefit from something like this.

“We’re not asking you to run 10,000 miles with us, literally take a step at a time, come out enjoy the sun, have a little walk with us and get more engaged within the sport, and eventually you will fall in love with the sport”.

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