"I really enjoyed the tour it helped me think about my future and what I want to do with sports when I am older"  Hannah, aged 15

On 16 January, Nike athlete and GB Taekwondo World Champion, Aaliyah Powel visited Access Sport’s Changing Places Manchester programme.

This inspiring day saw 58 schoolgirls join us at Nuffield Health’s amazing MIHP (Manchester Institute for Health and Performance) to celebrate female empowerment in sport, as well as receive complimentary Nike women’s sports bras.

After a tour of Nuffield Health’s world-class facilities, the girls participated in an expert female panel discussion, headlined by GB Taekwondo fighter, Aaliyah Powell - the UK's youngest World Taekwondo Medallist, achieving 3 bronze World Championships. Joining Aaliyah were Access Sport Development Manager, Charlotte Barnard, and Nuffield Health Rehabilitation Specialist, Angelica Drobny.

Key takeaways from the panel were:

  • There are a range of pathways to sporting success
  • Female inclusion needs to be prioritised across all sporting structures
  • Having the correct equipment and space is crucial in engaging young girls in sport and physical activity. 

Aaliyah Powell’s inspirational talk was the icing on the cake for our girls, with many sending Aaliyah messages of support on Instagram, to which she kindly replied to them all.

Eleanor, aged 14, said:

“I really enjoyed the activities and the talk, I enjoyed the talk because I found it really relatable. It has helped me think about what I want to do in the future”

Charlotte Barnard, Senior Community Coordinator, said: 

“From a young age, girls are often steered away from sports and encouraged to pursue other activities. This exclusion means many girls miss out on the life-changing benefits sport and physical activity has to offer. Today was a really inspirational day for everyone involved! Young girls in Manchester must have clear role models like Aaliyah – so a big shout out to her for coming down and speaking with the girls”

With lots of passion for sport in the room, we are confident that this day inspired our young girls to pursue their sporting dreams and inspire the next generation of sporting stars.

Thank you to Nike, for your support of the event and to Nuffield Health for hosting us. Also, to the whole panel and all the attendees.

Interested in learning more about our work in Manchester?
Changing Places, Manchester