This following state of affairs forms the starting point for this study:
- Girls are much less present in public spaces, and also make less use of them to practise sports
- Urban sports are popular and have a certain appeal among youth, but girls still experience too many barriers to participate in them
So... it’s time for ACTION!
In order to reach our ambitious goal of an inclusive public space that invites girls to take part in sport and exercise, we are joining forces with the city administrations of Roeselare, Ronse, and Antwerp as well as local non-profit organisations Arktos, Lejo, Formaat, and Kras. As the pre-eminent experts on their own living environment, girls are the real engine of our project. We explore what their ideal neighbourhood looks like and what exactly they require in order to enter this ‘public territory’ more often. Through this journey, we want to harness the appeal of urban sports and urban culture to create a place in public space for them to claim. With the girls as co-designers, we overhaul their neighbourhood in such a way that they feel like using the place as their exercising and meeting space, or maybe even their urban sports hub. More than just a dash of empowerment is required for this one!
What exactly are we going to do?
The testing grounds of our action study are located in Roeselare, Ronse, and Antwerp.
In Roeselare, Arktos forms the backbone of our project. This organisation has been working in Biezenhof for years, so they know the area inside out. They decided to fully focus on reaching girls, because they are a group that often remains under the radar in this area.
Lejo is the driving force in Ronse. They resumed their girls’ programme late last year and decided to increase their emphasis on sport and exercise for girls.
In Antwerp, we are piecing together a learning programme for policymakers and practitioners. Because plenty of expertise is already available in the city, we are committed to gather this knowledge through policy tables and practitioner cafés.
Our ideal world? Inclusive, safe, accessible spaces where girls can dare to move freely. Our strength? Ownership lies in hands of the girls themselves, while we support them in their own process.
Would you like to know more?
Click to visit the ABC G.I.R.L! page and follow us on LinkedIn!