Mountain Training have released a short film for #WomenOutdoors week, an initiative that aims to encourage more women and girls to walk and climb.
In a bid to entice more young females to get active outdoors Mountain Training has been working with The Outdoor Partnership to deliver Mountain Skills courses in North Wales.
The new short film by Llyr hughes TV follows a group on a Mountain Skills course in Snowdonia, which is designed for anyone aged 14 and over who wants to transfer their existing walking skills to more mountainous terrain. It looks as if the team, who all had experience of walking thanks to the expedition element of the Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, laughed, sang and danced their way through the two day course.
One of the girls featured in the film, 16-year-old Zoe Wood, said:
“It was a hilarious couple of days in the mountains with a really friendly and approachable instructor, learning how to become independent in the hills.”
#WomenOutdoors week, 5th-15th August 2016, is being promoted by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), the national representative body for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers in England and Wales.
It's is an initiative created by the BMC’s Women’s Development Group (which was formed in November 2015 to tackle the gender gap in walking and climbing) and is designed to get more women and girls participating in walking and climbing.
"There are 1.73 million fewer women taking part in sport and physical activity than men, and we’re keen to redress this imbalance" explains Nicola Jasieniecka of Mountain Training.
"We know that a fear of being judged is often a barrier to women participating, and having someone to go along with can be a great motivator and confidence boost for many women who want to try something new. So the BMC appealed to activity providers (climbing walls, outdoor centres, instructors etc) to create an offer or activity for women during #WomenOutdoors week and in return they are promoting all of the opportunities on their website and social media."
"Many climbing walls are supporting the initiative, offering discounts for female climbers or ‘bring a female friend for free’ entry schemes which is really great to see. Mountain Training is targeting 14-24 year old females by promoting this film of a group of girls on a Mountain Skills course. The mountains are such an amazing place to challenge yourself and have fun with your friends, but many people lack the skills to be independent and therefore shy away from getting out there. Going on a Hill Skills or Mountain Skills course could be just what they need to be confident about exploring the natural world."
Mountain Training is also encouraging females of all ages who aspire to be walking leaders and climbing instructors to observe other women who already hold a qualification. The aim is to help them develop their own leadership skills by watching others in action.
For more on #WomenOutdoors week see the BMC website
Mountain Skills courses are available all over the UK and are part of the nationally accredited Hill & Mountain Skills scheme. Hill Skills courses are designed for beginner walkers who would like to learn how to enjoy our beautiful countryside.
Margaret Ross, 44, who completed a Mountain Skills course in September 2015, said:
“The fact that I was able to navigate my own way and make sense of bearings, direction of travel and timings made me feel that with practice I could go anywhere I wanted.”
- For more info on Mountain Training's Hill & Mountain Skills scheme see here