Volunteers from Massey’s School of Design helped with the branding of the organisation, now Shift is changing the lives of young Kiwi women through sport.
Studies have found that by year 13, 47 per cent of young girls have spent no time in organised sport. Think about it ladies, did you play organised sport in high school? Do you still play an organised sport now? My bet is that most of you reading this answered no to at least one of those questions.
Fran McEwan discovered a growing trend of inactive young women in New Zealand and decided to do something about it by founding Shift.
Shift is a Wellington-based, charitable trust that aims to improve the wellbeing of women aged 12 to 20 through physical activity. They host affordable events throughout the year, including boxing, rock climbing, yoga, and kayaking.
But Shift aren’t only about the physical stuff they also have programmes called ‘Just Shift it’, ‘EmpowHER’ and ‘LeadHERship’ which include inspiring talks and workshops. These are designed to teach young women about well-being and entrepreneurship.
Student, Celia Painter regularly attends these events.
“Shift has helped me feel more at home in my own community,” she says. “I have made long-lasting friendships which have had an incredibly positive impact on my life.”
University is a particularly stressful time- both on your mind and your body. Most of us suffer from ‘fresher five’ in our first year of studies which decreases self-confidence and mental well-being.
Shift coordinator Chloe Bryan says the school to uni transition is a time of opportunity and change, but it can be easy to lose sight of what makes you happy and healthy.
Most young women will get a gym membership which is fantastic- but if you work out with headphones in and don’t interact with people it can be a little isolating. Shift focuses on that social aspect.
“That becomes the foundation for every event in the whole programme- It’s the little stuff like knowing somebody’s name, asking about their day, & being genuinely interested,” a Shift Staff member says.
Attending Shift events is a way to engage with other wāhine going through similar things. The best part is there is no on-going commitment. So, you can pick and choose what events you attend, and don’t need to feel bad if study takes over for a while.
Shift currently has groups running in Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti, and Wellington City. However, they do hope to expand to other communities throughout New Zealand.
You don’t have to be a sporting guru to know that physical activity improves your mental well-being, but so many young women push their well-being to the side. Make the shift this year by putting your mental and physical health first.
Want to join the Shifterhood?
If you’re 20 or under head to www.shiftnz.org/jointheshifterhood for more information.
If you don’t fit into that category there are still ways of joining the Shifterhood. Shift is always looking for volunteers. To get involved contact Chloe, the Shift National Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let her know what areas you would be interested to help with.
Pass or play: With winter upon give Snowboarding a go and “shred some pow pow”. Whether it’s recreational or competitive, snowboarding is one epic sport. Originally inspired by skateboarding and surfing, it requires some major leg strength and a fair bit of coordination. If you don’t mind having your feet strapped onto a single board, and you can tackle a couple of gnarley bails- you will love it!
Never tried it? Massey have numerous clubs which have discounted ski trips:
- Wellington: MORC (Massey Outdoor Recreation Club)
- Albany: MUASC (Massey University Albany Snow Club)
- Manuwatu: Surf, Snow, and Skate (Massey Surf Club) or Massey Alpine Club.
- Head to clubs@massey for more information.
Ponder that: Kite flying is a professional sport in Thailand.