By Rebecca Saldanha, BTR Run Lead and Program Coordinator at Fast and Female In partnership…
Participant Story: Leena’s Workshop Experience
By Leena Al-Sachit
On March 18th and 19th Fast and Female hosted 2 workshops at Athleta stores in Calgary and Toronto, about breaking the stigma of the fitting room. Leena, one of the workshop participant’s, is sharing her experience at the event.
Who am I?
My name is Leena. I am a Fast & Female participant in grade 9 from Calgary. My favorite ways to stay active are working out at the gym and playing basketball.
My experience with F&F:
My experience with Fast & Female has been awesome! Since the first event I attended (Decathlon Power Hour), I felt like I was meant to be there and meant to be a part of the activities. I met a ton of new people that were my age and who were interested in the same things as me like sports, hobbies and ways to stay active.
Why do I think sport and physical activity is important for girls?
Sport and physical activity is an important part of my life and has helped me develop confidence, leadership, communication skills and more. Every girl should be able to participate in sport and physical activity to help them develop important life skills that will help them be successful in the future.
On March 18th, 2023, I went to the Athleta Empower Her Workshop in Calgary. I felt so empowered, excited, and confident. My friends also attended the event with me which made it all the more fun. We started off with getting to know everyone and learning about different things they do to stay active. I found that doing this activity helped us become more comfortable with each other. It was really cool to learn about the REAL Role Models’ different experiences in each of their sports. Next, we did a group stretch. After that, we broke out into our groups and started off with our activities. The first activity was writing motivational letters to ourselves. As a group, we discussed how we found it difficult to write these letters to ourselves and we realized that this activity was difficult because it was not something we were used to. Moving on to our next activity, we talked about social media stereotypes, body image, our experiences, etc. I felt safe and comfortable talking about my experiences in my group. The third activity was called ‘step in, step out’. In this activity, we went around the circle and all said a phrase. For example, ‘step into the circle if you like your eyes.’ If you related to the phrase or agreed to it, you would step in, if you hadn’t, you stayed put. This activity made me learn a lot about the people in my group and myself. As the activity went on, the phrases being said became more serious. However, when these serious phrases were being said, I wasn’t the only one who stepped in and that made me feel very validated. For the fourth activity, we learned about the importance of confident poses and how the way we position our body impacts our mood and confidence. The final activity that we did was a big group activity about how we feel in the fitting room. This activity made me feel empowered and confident. Being able to discuss all of these activities with my friends and REAL Role Models’ left a lasting impact on me and will be an event that I remember for the rest of my life!
A key takeaway from this event:
My favorite activity that we did was most definitely the ‘step in, step out’ one because I got to learn a lot about other girls’ experiences that are my age. I also became mindful of how important it is to be nice and kind to yourself because we often forget to. Moving forward, I will practice the ‘zip up’ confidence method as I found it made me feel more powerful.