Working a deskbound job in accounts, Zoe Ward used to describe herself as ‘totally inactive’. It wasn’t until she suffered from post-natal anxiety with her second child, she discovered that exercise could help ease her worries and stress.
Zoe, who now has three children, is passionate about getting women and girls interested in fitness and said: “I absolutely hated exercise when I was young, I was not sporty in any way. I stumbled across a hula hoop class in Bexhill and I just became addicted to that feeling of having an hour just to be me. I love that exercise just takes away all the worry from the day.”
Falling in love with fitness
She fell so in love with how physical activity made her feel, she decided to quit her job and train to become a full-time fitness instructor. Zoe now runs post-natal fitness sessions, Powerhoop classes and pelvic floor exercise sessions for a variety of different women in her East Sussex community.
Getting active helped give Zoe the self-belief to support other women in their own journeys.
She said: “I’ve really grown in confidence and I feel really passionate about getting women active.”
Zoe works hard every day to inspire women and girls to get active and look after their physical and mental wellbeing. She teaches women of all ages and abilities and has even inspired some to train up as instructors themselves.
Zoe has now joined with Active Sussex as their second This Girl Can Sussex Ambassador, alongside fitness blogger, Tess Agnew.
This Girl Can
The idea behind This Girl Can, a national Sport England campaign, is celebrating women everywhere who are getting active in a way that works for them, no matter how they look or how well they do it.
Read more: How sport helped with my self confidence
Active Sussex identified Zoe as an ideal community champion to join forces with as part of their work with the This Girl Can campaign, with the aim of inspiring more women across Sussex to get active and get moving in their own way.
Making fitness relatable
Gemma Finlay-Gray, strategic relationship manager at Active Sussex, said: “We are thrilled to have Zoe on board as our second This Girl Can ambassador for Sussex. Insight shows that women persistently remain less active than men across the country, and the This Girl Can campaign holds such an important message that is relatable to women from all walks of life.
“Having Zoe involved alongside our first ambassador, Tess, helping to encourage, inspire and amplify that message across Sussex is exactly what we need to start changing the game for women.”
To find out more about the This Girl Can Sussex network, visit: www.activesussex.org/thisgirlcan