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These girls can!

STEP UP: (below) Robinson (front row, centre) and Mason (second row, far right)
provided the youngsters with food for thought

THANK YOU so much for making me believe in myself’ - Stacey

These the powerful words spoken by a 14-year-old South London young woman who along with 350 participants started her day being part of a gender empowerment assembly.

Stacey’s comments echo those of many of the other girls who found this special assembly a supportive and inspiring experience. Stacey’s comments become even more significant given the high percentage of young women in the UK who have low levels of body confidence.

The highlight of the assembly was an interview between two Great Britain international basketball players, Paige Robinson and Rosalee Mason. They highlighted their own stories of success, adversity and inspiration.

Paige a 19-year-old basketball player, currently on a scholarship in the US, has represented England from the age of 15 and has played internationally in Spain.

Her love of basketball started at local London Thunder basketball club was aged 13. Rosalee Mason was capped for England over 65 times and has played all over the world and is now a coach.

The players caused an even greater stir when they showed the girls their medals. Rosalee also produced the Olympic torch, as she was a torchbearer at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The assembly was delivered by the programme founder Michelle Moore and started with Sport England’s Maya Angelou narrated ‘This Girl Can’ film followed by a discussion focused on body confidence, barriers to sport for girls, gender stereotypes and the importance of physical activity.

As part of the presentation the students were shown a photograph of the girls team at London Thunder basketball club; a club with a small girls team looking to expand.

The assembly was energetic with rousing high fives and spot prizes of London Thunder drawstring bags and autographs from the players.

After the assembly, girls took part in a basketball coaching masterclass delivered by the players who are also both qualified coaches.

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