“There is always going to be a reason why you can’t do something; your job is to constantly look for the reasons why you can achieve your dreams.” – Shannon Miller and the Girls Get Strong event organized by CAC was a great way of encouraging young female athletes to “look for the reasons why they can achieve their dreams”. Girls Get Strong is an annual event meant to encourage and empower young female athletes. The event consists of a handful of workshops and fitness activities that are meant to aid young women to grow and prosper not only physically but also mentally.
Students from NIS joined and were enchanted by partaking in such an aimful, well established program that made a noticeable difference in their everyday life. The workshops offered by successful female figures possessed far-reaching objectives. There was a total of sixteen workshops. The girls learned how to accept their failures and their negative traits and appreciate the importance of making mistakes. In another workshop that mainly discussed energies, they learned how to regulate their physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental energy levels in order to acquire the best possible performance. Lecturers shared their inspiring life experiences of overcoming challenges and shared key solutions; the kind of solutions that would enable a diabetic patient of running marathons and climbing mountains. They learned how to set an exercise plan and understood more about weight management. They learned about meeting society’s high expectations and how to avoid its negative effect on the social, academic, and physical levels and especially on one’s mental health. They gained knowledge about the essence of leadership and the art of conveying powerful messages. They grasped the importance of appreciating and prospering one’s simplest passion because “no passion is silly”. They were encouraged to discover their passion in order to seek a better understanding of themselves. They were inspired to follow their passion in spite of norms, stereotypes, and expectations. The girls were introduced to an interactive therapy tool (more of a board game) which helped them tackle their strengths and weaknesses and reminded them of listening to their intuition. Gender discrimination was discussed in one of the workshops and people’s real life experiences with gender discrimination were shared. Farida Salem Egyptian Football Player & Coach and Founder of Empower Football Academy for Girls talked about the “Hidden Messages Behind Sports” And revealed the three things that helped her become a leader in her field. They asked themselves the eternal question “Why is equality hard to acquire?” and they came up with quite satisfying answers. They also learned about living in a society that puts great pressure on women and whether one should conform with all expectations such society sets. “The art of breaking rules” was part of the agenda and the way by which we can break some rules yet stay true to core beliefs and principles was a topic of discussion. They learned about taking leadership of their own lives and being the authors of their own exceptional adventure. They even boosted that sense of uniqueness through a workshop that helped them create personalized designs for their luxury belongings.
In the fitness activities they learned about the basics of basketball, rugby, and amateur Olympic boxing. They also learned about the proper warm up that provides a perfect environment for training. High intensity exercises that aim to build cardiovascular fitness and improve muscular strength and endurance were part of the fitness program. They learned about incorporating fun in their workout which is a great way of boosting their performance and their eagerness to proceed with a regular workout. They enjoyed thirty minutes of Yoga. They learned about mobility and how to promote better movement and an improved functional range of motion. They practiced Belly dancing, Jazz dancing, and Zumba. They learned how to use mindfulness practice to fight stress. Their awareness of anterior cruciate ligament injuries (one of the key ligaments that help stabilize your knee joint.) was raised. Circuit training which is a form of body conditioning or endurance training or resistance training using high-intensity was also part of the fitness program.
“I was really inspired by each and every one there and I learned that nothing is impossible and that one day I’ll be able to achieve everything I’ve ever dreamed of accomplishing” said Sarah Ashraf a 10th grader