Women in Sport week: Get Out Get Active women- Vicki’s story

Women’s Sport Week takes place between 19- 25 June. Although the campaign comes before a packed summer of elite sport, the Get Out Get Active (GOGA) programme is making waves at grassroots level across the UK. To mark the week, GOGA is celebrating some of the fantastic women working on the programme. Today, we hear from Vicki from Live Active about her aspirations for GOGA.

Profile of Vicki Kennedy

GOGA, funded by Spirit of 2012, is an exciting new programme that supports disabled and non‑disabled people to take part in fun and inclusive activities together. It aims to make activity more appealing for everyone. Working in 18 different areas across the UK, partners are delivering over 30,000 sessions over three years.

The Women’s Sport Week campaign encourages the public to have fun and celebrate this vintage summer of women’s sport by watching, listening, volunteering and taking part in sporting activities. Those involved hope the campaign generates debate and encourages people to show their support, in order to help more women and girls reach their full potential through sport.

Disability Sport Northern Ireland is overseeing the programme delivery within the localities in Northern Ireland. They are supporting on the programme development through the UK project steering group.

Vicki Kennedy, Live Active NI Manager for Live Active NI (Community Interest Company from Disability Sport NI)

I am the manager of the two GOGA localities based in Northern Ireland, which are delivered through Live Active NI. I assist the two Active Recreation Officers Kieran Coyle (Derry City & Strabane District Council) and Ryan McQuillan (Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council) by providing advice, training, planning and support throughout the programme.

We want everyone to have the chance to update each other on their programmes and share any good practice as well as the challenges they have come across. I deliver training sessions to the Live Active NI staff to ensure there is a great camaraderie and everyone feels valued. Within Live Active NI we are lucky to have support from Disability Sport NI. I liaise with the finance manager and liaise with the Communications and Engagement Officer particularly. I also help make contact with organisations whom I feel could benefit from this programme.

I hope I make a difference by supporting the two Active Recreation Officers. We hope their work helps to target the most inactive people in the community, giving individuals an experience that ensures they want to return again and again. Most importantly, we want them to become more active and lead healthy lifestyles.

I hope by supporting GOGA we can deliver new and inclusive opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy together. By working as a team we can achieve community goals

I try as hard as I can to be active myself. I previously was very active before I had children. Now having two small boys aged four and five, I am running around with them. I do still try to make it to the gym and go for runs. More recently, we go into our garage as a family and while they play on the gymnastic rings, I can do a little bit with them. We also love going to our local National Trust Property (Mount Stewart) at least once a week, where there are big gardens, and we play Monsters which involves a lot of chasing!

My motivational message comes from Steve Prefontaine’s quote- ‘To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift’.

As an ex- International athlete I felt this quote was justified within competing, however throughout my career in sport I still feel you need to make a difference and you should! If you are passionate about physical activity or sport then you should use your knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to enlighten others. You might only change the life of one person but what a change it will be!

Find more information by emailing the team or calling 01509 227750. Follow the campaign on #WSW2017 or GOGA conversation on #GetOutGetActive.