Launched on International Women’s Day (8 March 2018), TrailBlazers is an innovative youth empowerment initiative that seeks to tackle rising mental health problems among teenage girls through physical activity.

The scheme will help young girls develop the self-confidence and skills to forge their own path in life, being true to themselves. It uses the transformative power of physical activity and adventure to tackle the alarming decline in mental health and physical activity among secondary-school aged girls, as well as advising them on how social media can be used positively – that being active online doesn’t mean being inactive offline.

Arresting the slide in physically active young girls

According to research carried out by the Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport, fewer than one in ten girls currently undertake the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity – an alarming statistic largely attributed to a lack of self-esteem and confidence.

A pilot programme is currently working with a hundred year 9 and 10 girls across schools in London and Kent. The teenage girls involved will undertake a series of confidence building challenges, encouraging them to try new things and break free from the confines of the regular day-to-day lives.

Building confidence in teenage girls

It will conclude with a summer adventure, where the teenage girls will put into practice everything they have worked on, empowering them to blaze their own trail in life.

It is the brainchild of YST ambassador Sophie Radcliffe, a social activist, adventure athlete and blogger who quit her 9-5 job in London at the age of 27 to pursue her love of adventure.

Sophie, who is the only person to have climbed the highest mountains in the eight Alpine countries and cycled between them, champions and encourages ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things – and TrailBlazers sets out to do exactly that.

We want to help girls build their confidence, resilience and develop the skills that will be instrumental in them living courageously to fulfil their hopes and dreams. My passion for this project is borne from my own experience.  I was dubbed a failure by my teachers and bullied at school. I want to speak to girls on their level and inspire and support them to take action over their fears by really digging deep into what’s import and what’s holding them back. I hope that by the summer we will have helped these girls figure out how to be true to themselves, find their place in this ever-changing world and develop the courage to blaze their own trails. Sophie Radcliffe

This is a fantastic initiative that is well worth keeping an eye on. You can follow TrailBlazers on Twitter and like their page on Facebook.


KUDOS encourages people from all backgrounds and of any age to take part in regular physical or sporting activity.


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