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Neith Charlesworth

Date of Birth: 19th April 1999.

Where do you live: Stoke Ferry, Downham Market

Why did you want to get involved in This Girl Can in Norfolk Campaign?

I wanted to get involved in This Girl Can because for me it's important for women to feel comfortable in doing sports and recognising that there are so many benefits to exercise, in whatever form it comes. Judo is a predominantly male sport, and it's easy to feel self-conscious as a woman, but if I had ever let the feeling of being self-conscious stop me from doing the sport I love, I don't know what I'd be doing right now. My sport has opened up so many opportunities for me, from introducing me to new people, to helping me be more involved, and making the most of university.

I'm from Stoke Ferry, a small village near Downham Market, however currently study at the UEA in Norwich. I am one of the coaches at UEA Judo as well as having various roles on the club's committee, such as organising the clubs social events, competitions, and fundraisers. I have been doing judo since I was 8 years old and still compete for the club, as I am working towards my Black belt. I also enjoy a lot of outdoor sports, such as climbing, archery, and canoeing.

Who inspires you?

There are so many women who inspire me, one in particular, is Sally Conway. She is a Scottish judoka who competed for Team GB in the 2012 and the 2016 Rio Olympics. I was lucky enough in 2015 to train with her at her home club in Scotland. She was so incredibly kind and welcoming, her passion for the sport and training made me want to work and train harder.

What are your top 3 tips of getting/staying active?

  • My top tips for getting or staying active are to make the most of what you've got. I'm incredibly lucky that my university has so many opportunities to get involved in sports teams and clubs, as well as one-off events and 'give it a go' sessions. However, back home in my small rural village, we don't have all of these sports teams right on our doorstep, so we find a way of keeping fit by going on walks with the dog and the family (the fitness increases with the more footballs and frisbees our house acquires).
  • Another good way to get involved is to find a group of friends willing to try out a new activity with you, I know I'm far more likely to try something when I'm trying it with someone else that I know and can have a good time with.
  • Finally, walking more. Walking to or from university, or to work, or the shop, sounds simple and it is. It may take an extra few minutes but it's keeping me fit, and giving me time to clear my head and take in my surroundings.