This Girl Can

Since 2015, THIS GIRL CAN has helped women overcome practical and emotional barriers to being active that can hold many back. The Army Cadets are really proud to join this campaign to encourage and enable girls and women from all backgrounds in our organisation, to get more active.

This Girl Can

27 October 2020

  • National

About this year's campaign

In 2020, the team at This Girl Can are building upon their previous campaigns and starting to tackle societal and institutional barriers as well. By encouraging greater support of women from all walks of life, and championing greater inclusivity of every kind, they will create the necessary changes to allow all women to get moving however they please.

Army Cadet Force

Here at the Army Cadets, we put alot of emphasis on the importance of staying active. Not only can it help our physical health, but our mental health too. On this page you can read about two of our female members; a Cadet and an Adult volunteer.

Adult Volunteer - Captain Carrie Wernham, IOM ACF

How my life has changed in four years

I used to spend most of my spare time sat on the couch. The only marathons or endurance sports I did were Netflix or PS4.

But after hurting my back and being told by a physio that my core was so weak from my sedentary lifestyle, during Christmas 2014, I knew I needed to make a change.

Now I'm such a different person. I can’t contemplate a day sat on the couch or in the house. And although I still chase after trophies and medals, they are Strava or PBs and not for video games (Zwift is the exception of course).

Carrie Wernham 4

It has been tough and I have pushed myself to my limit (and perhaps beyond), but I have met so many great people on my journey. Last year I represented Team GB in Holland for the European Age Group Championships for Olympic distance Triathlon.

As an Cadet Force Adult Volunteer, I have a MTB leader qualification and take the cadets mountain biking. I actively push sports in cadets. During lockdown we were setting our county challenges to get out walking/running/cycling and managed to raise over £800 for the RBL for VE Day with the 75 for 75 challenge.

I hope my story will show that YOU can do it if you put your mind (and your poor legs) to it. Just keep chipping away one day at a time. Be patient, you WILL get there.

Cadet Willow Hull, Bristol ACF

I have been playing competitive Sport since I was seven-years-old, first playing Football for Bristol Academy, then moving to Gloucester Academy. I also played Rugby for Hornets RFC and in 2018 I was selected to play for Somerset County Rugby. I also play Rugby/Football/Hockey for my School.

I have gained four National Sports Championship badges in Army Cadets, these were for Football, Rugby and Athletics.

I am extremely competitive and I train hard in whatever sport I am playing. Unfortunately, in September 2019 I obtained a serious knee injury, rupturing my ACL and tearing my meniscus. These injuries slowed my progress in all sports, but I have still managed to compete in a few with a lot of strapping and determination.

Willow Hull 2

My surgery took place as planned in March 2020. I was lucky as I was one of the last operations prior to lockdown. Then the hard work began, I could not go to see the physiotherapist at the hospital, so I was given exercises each week via video link. I completed these each day and slowly got stronger and stronger. At the end of July 2020, I went back to Rugby training, gently working on my core skills and balance.

Despite the suspension of all face-to-face training during lockdown, I managed to complete virtual training with Bristol ACF via a zoom call each week. I also took part in a virtual Lands End to John O’Groats challenge ran by the ACF South West Sports team. This was a team walking/running event, and even with my recent surgery I completed over 44 miles.

I still have another six months before my knee is fully recovered, but I believe this just goes to prove if you want to achieve your goals, no matter the barriers, you can, with a little determination and perseverance. I have proved, This Girl Can.

THIS GIRL CAN is a national campaign designed to encourage more women and girls to get active. The campaign is funded by Sport England and the National Lottery.
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