The City of Melville is asking the community what types of classes they would like to see available for teenagers at its LeisureFit Recreation Centres after launching a Real Girls campaign earlier this year encouraging high school-aged girls to put down their phones, connect in real life and get active together.
The Real Girls Teen classes would provide opportunities for teen girls aged between 12 to 16 to have fun, get active, practice mindfulness and build confidence in a supportive all-girls space with small class sizes.
City of Melville Mayor the Hon George Gear said supporting healthy lifestyles and wellbeing is a key priority identified in the City’s recently released Corporate Business Plan (2020-2024).
“The health and wellbeing of our young people in our community is a key focus area and is now more important than ever following the negative impact COVID-19 has had in 2020 on young people’s ability to connect and engage in positive physical activity and subsequently on their wellbeing.”
City of Melville Healthy Melville Coordinator, Janet Armarego said recent research showed that nearly one in four young Australians said they were experiencing mental health challenges and girls were twice as likely as boys to face this issue**.
“The City’s Real Girls campaign was developed to encourage high school-aged girls to put down their phones, connect in real life and get active together,” said Ms Armarego.
“Studies also show a link between social media use and depressive symptoms, with girls at higher risk, and we know excessive screen time is impacting physical activity levels – the Real Girls initiative aims to address these worrying trends.
“Exercise is a powerful way for teens to connect, it helps boost concentration, improves mood, relieves stress and has a host of other physical benefits that can’t be ignored.”
Ms Armarego said exercising during school breaks was just one option and the City was keen to see teen girls put down their devices more often and swap screen time for active time with friends for the sake of their health.
”Keeping active doesn’t have to mean taking part in team sports,” said Ms Armarego.
“We understand that competitive team sports can be restrictive and off-putting for many teens but they can hang out with friends and keep active at the same time in other ways, like walking their dog together, going swimming, taking dance classes, doing free park fitness classes or cycling around the river.
“The other key part of the Real Girls campaign is helping girls in high school to realise they don’t have to look Insta-perfect while they’re active; it’s important for their wellbeing to embrace the gift of being real, having fun and feeling good by being themselves.”
The City’s LeisureFit centres in Melville and Booragoon offer TeenFit, and Teen Swim classes for ages 12 to 16 and teens aged over 14 can also take part in any adult classes.
The community can provide feedback on the Real Girls Teen class options available for teens aged 11 to 16 by submitting an expression of interest form through the City’s website.
The Real Girls for Life campaign can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/cYwp14gjjGQ
(Please note, a 30 second version of the campaign is also available)
For more information and to view the expression of interest form, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/realgirls