News | 16 February 2016

Savvy social enterprise aims to get more girls active

Empowering young women to take part in physical activity is now as simple as buying a drink bottle.

Give Back Shift Forward logo.

A savvy group of Massey University Design students and staff from the Boys and Girls Institute (BGI), with support from Parks, Sports and Recreation staff at Wellington City Council, have joined forces to create a social enterprise that will remove barriers that prevent young women from participating in physical activities and other wellbeing opportunities.

The social enterprise, entitled ‘Give back, Shift forward’, has a simple but ingenious plan to crowdsource funds by offering luxe drink bottles and a tote bag (designed by the students) as rewards for those who support the project via PledgeMe. The profit generated will be invested into a fund that will make it easier for young Wellington women to take part in sport, physical activity and wellbeing opportunities.

Chloe Forbes, the Shift Coordinator from BGI says ‘Give back, Shift forward’ is a key component of the pilot project entitled ‘Shift: shift your body, shift your mind’. Shift is being funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Sport Wellington”.

“Whilst we have been lucky to secure funding for the overarching Shift project, which aims to better understand the physical activity interests of young women and provide more opportunities, there is still an issue for some young women around the cost of participation”.

If the group reaches their target of $5,000, young women aged 12 – 20 years will be able to apply to the Give back, Shift forward fund online for financial support to remove barriers to participation, such as covering registration fees for sport/physical activity, uniform costs, equipment and transport.

Health and Wellbeing Partnership Leader, Fran McEwen, from Wellington City Council says “This an exciting initiative that Council is pleased to be a part of, and it will lead the way for future collaborations involving multiple organisations.  We learnt a lot from the design students, young women leaders and other project partners (such as Lifehack) through this unique and innovative project”.