This Girl Can: How sport helped with my self confidence

Asha Hassan, 18, is from East London. She featured in the This Girl Can's Fit Got Real advert, part of a campaign by Sport England to get more women into sport.

This Girl Can Asha

I am from London and both my parents are Somali. I grew up in East London (Mile End) and I still live there now. I’m 19 years old.

Sport at school

Wow, in school I hated sports. I didn’t want to be anywhere near exercise at all and always made up excuses to not exercise with my friends.

I was always the joker in the class so I could always get out of playing and getting involved as well.

Rediscovering sport

When I was 17, I rediscovered playing sports. I realised that not doing sport wasn’t good for me and actually impacted my self confidence.

I just got bored of not being active and fit and wanted to take matters into my own hands and make a positive change. It was difficult at first, as I thought that people would judge me, but I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and kept going.

Finding the right sport for me

At first, I began running around my estate and tried out football and badminton socially.

However, the public outdoor gym was something I was particularly drawn to as I could train for free in the park nearby.

It is great as you don’t have to pay expensive gym memberships and anyone and everyone can have a go. I also bring my family along to do circuit training and we motivate each other to work out and get ourselves out there in the cold British weather.

I also like to play badminton and I’m really into my boxing now.  

This Girl Can

I loved the This Girl Can ads as they were so relatable and are great at motivating women to do exercise. I think the ads are amazing so was really happy to be featured in the Fit Got Real advert (below).

I’ve seen so many benefits from exercising and I feel like I have just been more active physically and mentally. I am a lot more motivated and confident and much happier within myself.

My advice if you want to get into sport

I would say just go for it! Start small and work your way up and don’t give up. It’s going to be hard, so hard, but as soon as you see changes in yourself you won’t stop.

I used to be worried about people looking at me when I ran in public or worked out at the outdoor gym but now I don’t even think about it.

And remember, nothing happens overnight; it’s all part of the journey.
To my younger self I would say keep going you’re doing great.

For more on This Girl Can, click here.

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