#WomenOutdoors Week: 7 reasons to get involved

Posted by Joanna Rowbottom on 11/07/2016

During 5-15 August, the BMC will be running a campaign aimed at encouraging more women to get involved in climbing, hill walking and mountaineering. Here's seven reasons why you should support the campaign and get involved.

1. Support a great cause

Women tend to participate in all sport and physical activity less frequently than men with 31% of women taking part compared to 40.8% men. The same is true for climbing, hill walking and mountaineering, but 13 million women want to do more. At the BMC we’re keen to readdress this imbalance which is why we've launched #WomenOutdoors Week.

2. Find new climbing and hill walking partners

We know a lot of men and women who climb, hill walk and mountaineer who are keen to encourage more women into the activities they love. The campaign aims to encourage those already involved, both male and female, to take women they know out for a day on the hills, at the crag or at the local climbing wall. Of those women who already climb, 51% first participated with friends, having that familiar face to go along with is a great support for many women. Whether it’s a friend, mum, daughter, auntie or sister, we all know someone who would like to get more active, and would benefit from climbing or hill walking. Let's help them catch the climbing bug!

WATCH: Molly Thompson-Smith: women's climbing on BMC TV

3. Improve your fitness

Both rock climbing and hill walking are great for improving both physical and mental health. Rock Climbing is a fun workout, great for toning, and great personal challenge. For Beth, climbing couldn't have been more important for its impact on mental wellbeing. You'll be amazed how quickly you can progress, and how much stronger those arms will get.  
Hill walking is a great stress reliever, there's nothing better than getting out into the fresh air to take you away from those everyday troubles.  

4. A new challenge

Maybe you've been looking for a new challenge, or a new hobby? Well there's no better time than #WomenOutdoors Week to get started. It can be daunting going along to a new activity for the first time, but we're all beginners at some point! And with specific beginner women-only activities taking place at various climbing walls, you can be sure you wont be the only newbie there.

5. Get outdoors

Exploring new places with friends and family by going climbing or walking is great fun. If you've been wanting to spend more time as a family, or been looking for new things to get involved in with your friends then #WomenOutdoors Week will be great for you. Both climbing and hill walking are social activities, you'll be able to challenge yourself, but everyone can get involved together.

WATCH: Women in adventure: Kate Worthington on BMC TV

6. Win awesome prizes

Cotswold Outdoor are supporting this campaign and are offering up some awesome prizes, including a FitBit, an Osprey Daylite Rucksack and gift cards. You can be in with a chance of winning one of these prizes by getting outdoors and sharing your photos or comments with us on Twitter – @TGCclimbing@CotswoldOutdoor – and most importantly use #WomenOutdoors.

7. Make a difference

The benefits of getting active in the outdoors are huge, 45% of women are not active enough for good health and physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK according to Public Health England. By getting involved in #WomenOutdoors Week, and supporting women you know to make that first step itno trying a new activity you can make a real difference to someone's physical and mental health. 

How can you join the campaign?

If you're already a competent climber, hill walker or mountaineer and know women in your circle of friends, or female family members who you think would benefit from getting involved why not arrange to take them hill walking or climbing between 5-15 August. Don't forget to tell us about it and enter our Twitter competition using #WomenOutdoors, @TGCclimbing and @CotswoldOutdoor.

For those who want to join an organised activity we’ve also asked climbing walls, and outdoor activity providers whether they would like to be part of #WomenOutdoors Week. There are a number of events for new climbers and walkers where you can have a go.  

Choose your area to find out what's on near you!

North West and Wales

Yorkshire

London and South

Midlands

If you would like to find out more about #WomenOutdoors Week and how you can get involved please contact: Joanna@thebmc.co.uk.


This Girl Can

Get the adrenaline buzz of reaching the top. Keep fit without feeling like you're doing exercise. Socialise and build strong friendships. Tempted to give climbing a go? Find out more about This Girl Can Climb.

WATCH: This Girl Can Climb on BMC TV

WATCH: Shauna Coxsey in This Girl Can Win on BMC TV

WHAT'S NEXT? Get the psyche!

Boost your confidence by familiarising yourself with some of the basics skills and knowledge you'll be learning. Read our special edition magazine for new climbers Get into Climbing. Buy your copy from the BMC shop for just £5 (£3 for BMC members).


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1) Anonymous User
14/07/2016
An excellent idea. Why not bring this to the attention of the Scout Association and Girlguiding UK - both are committed to promoting and providing equal opportunities.
2) Anonymous User
15/07/2016
Hi, this is a great concept but the set up seems to be women-who-already-climb/walk take out other women you already know and send us some pictures. But that's not terribly helpful for women who would like to get involved who don't already know someone who could take them out, in their area. Could I suggest you find a way to facilitate message boards where women can volunteer to partner one or two others (or a small group if walking) and other women in their area can get in touch to take them up on it? In so doing, all could see others doing similar things in their area and maybe join forces if practicalities allow. Alix Harrower
3) Joanna Rowbottom(author comment)
18/07/2016
Hi,

There are two aspects to the campaign, the first being those who already climb (male and female) getting outdoors with a women they know, as we probably all know someone who doesn't get out climbing, or hill walking who would like too. The second is for new climbers/hill walkers to join organised sessions in their area. A large number of climbing walls, some clubs and some outdoors activity providers have established some beginners intro and taster sessions and we are busy promoting these in channels where non-participants might look for activities. Message boards and forums for new climbers and hill walkers to partner up with others sounds like a great idea, this is the first of this type of campaign and certainly something to build on in future, along with talking to other organisations who might be interested in joining the campaign.
4) Anonymous User
09/08/2016
Is the woman on the left not in fact indoors?

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