Paralympic champion, Hannah Cockroft MBE, was among those celebrating the success of a Comic Relief funded project in Leeds last week.
The five-time Paralympic gold medallist was a guest speaker at an event which celebrated the Levelling the Playing Field project, which uses sport and activity as a tool to build confidence and resilience. Among those involved in the project are women who have experienced poor mental health, or suffered domestic violence.
Also speaking at the event was Councillor Eileen Taylor, and Marzia Babakarkhail, a former Supreme Court Judge who specialised in violations of women’s rights in Afghanistan.
Women on the project helped to organise the event, which included activities and a bake sale, to raise money on Red Nose Day 2019. Their efforts raised over £250 for Comic Relief.
The project, which also runs in both Bradford and Doncaster, is led by Yorkshire Sport Foundation in partnership with Together Women and the YWCA.
In Leeds, 160 women have been supported through the project since it began in October 2017, with 27 of those having the opportunity to gain qualifications so they can take the lead on activities for others in their community.
Across all three districts, 74% of women report an increase in confidence, and 86% have better self-esteem as a result.
Rokaiya Khan, Chief Executive of Together Women, said: Today is a celebration for the women to reflect on what they have achieved, were really proud of all the women who have engaged in this programme, the confidence we have seen in them all has been extremely rewarding for all the staff.
Kathryn Mudge, Development Manager at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, added: “It’s brilliant to see the progress of the women in the programme. We know that physical activity can play a role in increasing people’s confidence and self-esteem, and it’s great to see that it’s helping so many women with just that through Levelling the Playing Field.
For more information on the project, visit www.yorkshiresport.org/LTPF