Posts categorised as: This Girl Can


Posted on: Mar 25, 2016,  Categories: Lifestyle & Events, This Girl Can

If you think – God, I could never do a ‘proper’ run, I was right there with you and seriously, please do read on…

I’m proud to be a This Girl Can ambassador. One of the main reasons why is because I am RUBBISH at exercise and I think, if I can do it, anyone can. And I’m proud of an initiative that empowers more women to do sport. Because a lot of us feel rubbish and it’s all about getting out there and DOING it.

This girl can badge ambassador newcastleWhat I’m hoping is that someone will read by blog and think – well if lazy Tang can do it, so can I. I’m good at being bad and when I say that, I mean for example, my running. I’m at the back, completely out of breath and in most cases, last (hence bad). However, the fact that I’m there and completely going for it is what I mean by being good. Everyone who struggles with exercise should be told that they can, that it doesn’t matter how unfit you are, that it’s ok to try and it’s ok to be bad. However, you’re still lapping everyone on the sofa!

sandra tang this girl can newcastleFor me, This Girl Can has changed my life. I might not be one of those fit yoga namaste Instagram girls, I might not quite yet be running my first marathon, but I’m out there and active.

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun marks and spencer thisgirlcanMy main hurdle in doing my first run I’ve discovered was my mind-set. Here were the excuses I had:

  • I can’t even run for the bus
  • It’s going to be so embarrassing coming last
  • I’m not fit enough yet, I’ll just build up slowly first
  • It’s way too far for a first run
  • Maybe next week, I’m exhausted today
  • I scraped my knee earlier this week, I best rest it

All excuses, but I didn’t realise how much of an excuse they were until I’d gone out and done it. I’ll explain why soon.

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcan

photo by David Bousfield

For my first ‘proper’ run, I skipped 1k, 3k and went straight for 5k. I blame and thank my boyfriend who’s an incredible runner. He runs all the goddamn time, he makes me feel lazy just looking at him. He honestly walks as fast as I run. However, he suggested I join him at a Parkrun and I thought ‘well ok’, all the  time thinking I’ll bow out that morning, on the way there, just before I start. I thought it’s too crazy for me, I can’t even run up the stairs without getting out of breath, I’ve never even done a 1k before. Again, all these excuses.

So I headed to Gibside’s Parkrun for my very first parkrun experience one very early Saturday morning…

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcanThe venue itself is just beautiful. It’s worth heading to even if you’re not going for a run. The good thing about being on a parkrun through Gibside is 1) You get to see all the grounds for free  2) You don’t notice how hard it is at times, because your path is constantly changing and it’s so pretty! You run past the stables, hall, column and much more.

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcanThe lovely staff at the parkrun are also so nice and supportive. I was honestly scared. This might not sound much to people who exercise all the time, but for someone new I was on the edge of quitting. They explained the course, how it works and told me not to worry about being last. There’s a gorgeous dog and his owner/runner at the end, that are set to always be the last ones.

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcan

photo by David Bousfield

What I hate about running groups is, as I’m usually last, the person who’s super fit at the back is pretty much walking so you feel a bit of pressure to keep up and also sometimes they chat to you. Which is sweet but I’m gasping so much for air, I can’t breathe, let alone talk. However, this Parkrun have it so spot on that I seriously didn’t even see the last person. I didn’t feel like I was being chased or that I had to make sure I was far enough ahead. (Think they probably kindly walk or stop along the way to chat to the stewards).

And after some encouragement, we set off!

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcan

photo by David Bousfield

And it was tough. Not too tough physically but it was all in my head. Just thinking, I can’t do this, I’m not going to get to the end and all the fears from my sporting past caught up with me. Everyone who said I was the unfittest person they ever knew, who laughed at me for being a This Girl Can ambassador, who said ‘You? Exercise?!’ It got to me and I kept overthinking.

See – me at the back, and that’s at the start. But it’s ok!

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcan

photo by David Bousfield

I managed to run most of it, walked a bit but all at a slow rate. However, before I even knew it, I could see it… the finish line.

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcan

photo by David Bousfield

And getting over that? Best feeling ever. And then I realised – it’s not that hard! I did 5k in around 40 minutes and it was okay. I came almost last but that didn’t matter, I did it!!!

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcan

photo by David Bousfield

Not bad for a first timer:

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcan

Here’s my finished my run, exhausted selfie!

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun marks and spencer thisgirlcanIt was so good, I went back and did it again – another week that is, I’m not that crazy. Gibside have plenty of exercise programmes too, from nordic walking to pram pushing and most are free, check it out here.

sandra tang this girl can newcastle active newcastle gibside parkrun thisgirlcanIf you’d like to join the parkrun at Gibside, visit the website here. There’s plenty of free parkruns all across the country and they’re fabulous, so make sure you try one out. Full details here.

Thanks for reading my mammoth This Girl Can post but seriously – if I can do it, so can you! #TheseGirlsCan xxx


Posted on: Mar 9, 2016,  Categories: Lifestyle & Events, This Girl Can

this girl can awards newcastle activenewcastle thisgirlcanLast Saturday, Newcastle hosted a glittering awards to celebrate This Girl Can. The This Girl Can Awards took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and recognised fantastic local women and their sporting achievements since the campaign begin.

The event was hosted by the glamorous Anna Foster from BBC Newcastle and it was just wonderful to bring together so many inspirational women who had done so much over the year. The winning girls really embraced the campaign locally and helped to put Newcastle on the map as the stand out city for the national campaign.

Here’s some of the very notable winners!
Club Session of the Year – Welbeck Warriors
this girl can awards newcastle activenewcastle thisgirlcan winnerRachel Dickens FDA Coach of the Year

this girl can awards newcastle activenewcastle thisgirlcan winnerStacey Gardiner Young Ambassador of the Year
this girl can awards newcastle activenewcastle thisgirlcan winnerDonna Dyball Commitment to This Girl Can & Ambassador of the YEAR!!
this girl can awards newcastle activenewcastle thisgirlcan winnerIf you’ve not yet got involved, then make sure you check out the very special Sport Relief fundraising event this Saturday 13th March in Newcastle.

Active Newcastle’s Sports Relief Day is offering you the opportunity to take part in a one-mile challenge on Saturday 12th March at Leazes Park, from 11am to 3pm. You can choose to walk, jog, cycle or get from A to B in your own special way. Fancy dress is fully encouraged and there will be prizes on the day!

There will be several streams starting with cyclists, then the walkers or runners, and finally – the fancy dress group (in a panto horse, doing a ministry of funny walks walk, for example).

SportRelief this girl can awards newcastle activenewcastle thisgirlcan

Throughout the day, there’s a range of entertainment and activities available for all ages, including a climbing wall, crazy golf, street dance performances, footy inflatable, multi sports, music and more! Full details of the event here.

Active Newcastle are encouraging as many people to take part and make a donation to Sport Relief through This Girl Can this week. Click here to sign up: http://my.sportrelief.com/corporate/thisgirlcan

Hope to see you there! x