Kilbarchan AAC athlete Chloe Simpson has urged girls and young women keep on running.
The 23-year-old from Greenock, who graduated from the University of the West of Scotland in sports coaching in 2019, shared her sporting story recently in the Greenock Telegraph in a bid to inspire other young women to get active.
And Chloe’s message chimes for athletes already with clubs or those wanting to explore the sport more after taking up running – or re-starting – during lockdown.
It also fits with our Keep On Running nationwide campaign, which launched yesterday with more than 45 scottishathletics clubs and jogscotland groups involved.
‘I know personally how the drop-out rates start increasing as girls get to high school, for a number of reasons.
‘Some people drop out because they change friendship groups, others take a step back because they want to focus on their exams.
From experience I’ve found that having sport to focus on really helped me through my exams in both school and university.
‘It gave me a break from everything and acted as an escape.
‘There’s proof too that sporting activities boost your mood, make you feel good about yourself and it’s also an amazing place to make lifelong friends.’
Chloe Simpson (no 312) in track action for Kilbarchan AAC (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Chloe, who works with the NHS Health Improvement Service helping clinically obese children make healthier choices, competes with Kilbarchan AAC and is also a second claim member of Greenock Glenpark Harriers.
‘I started out by playing hockey but found out it wasn’t for me, so moved on to other things,’ she said.
‘If you start doing something but don’t really enjoy it, there’s always other options you can explore.
‘I’ve coached in football, tennis and athletics and it’s not only improved my sporting abilities, but has increased my confidence massively.
‘I think things are starting to get better and more females are maintaining their hobbies or are sticking to their clubs which is great.
‘It will mean there will be more female role models locally and hopefully it will encourage girls of all ages to get involved or try something new.’