Welcome to #OurSquad

Our Squad is a Sport Wales initiative aimed at inspiring, empowering and encouraging more women and girls in Wales to get active and give sport a go.

It doesn’t matter about your current fitness level, sporting ability or chosen activity, we just want you to get involved and have fun doing it.

We Welsh are known for being a friendly bunch and we know there’s a network of friendly females out there who only want to encourage each other to achieve the very best – whatever that may be.

There’s even a network of supportive males, also up for the challenge to inspire and empower their other halves, mums, daughters, nieces and gal pals. We want to grow this community and the army of support available to women and girls who want to get more active, try something new or venture into sport for the first time.

So join us. Be a part of #OurSquad. Share your stories and celebrate the achievements of women and girls across the nation giving it a go.

Hannah is hooked on American Football

When Hannah joined American Football, she was hooked from Day 1. The Cardiff Valkyries – Wales’ first and only women’s American Football team – are proud #OurSquad members. Here Hannah, who plays Running Back (RB) for the team, explains why she went back for more and wants others to give the sport a go! “After the first session, I was so hyped about the sport and about the team, I couldn’t wait for the next training session,” explains Hannah, who works in Clinical Coding at the University Hospital of Wales. As a big football fan for years, when her cousin...

Danni’s getting salty in the surf

Danielle Robertson, 27, from Rhosneigr, Anglesey but now living in Neath, founded her own surfing club to help make the sport more accessible to women by providing them with the chance to try it, grow their confidence and connect with like-minded individuals. After meeting up with two like-minded female surfers she met online at Rest Bay, over a post-surf hot chocolate Dani and the others decided to create an online community to help women with a passion for surfing to connect, share advice, train together and form friendships. Surf Senioritas has since grown into a thriving community and source of...

Angeline likes to cool off in the pool

An award-winning Welsh community coach is hoping to inspire women and girls from across the country to take up sport, whatever their background, to improve their health, boost their confidence and form life-long friendships. Angeline Tshiyane, 53, from Bettws in Newport, has set up multiple sporting groups to help encourage an active lifestyle among the region’s black, minority and ethnic (BME) communities, who are traditionally less likely to participate in sport. The mother of one, who also works as a carer, has launched her own weekly swimming sessions for children and adults from BME backgrounds, as well as the country’s...

#OurSquad

kittypieface

Very proud of the team for facing another Division 1 team at the 7s level. The amount of learning we do is unlimited. Played linebacker and D-line through the day and pretty proud of myself too. Do not game day then train the next day with a bust up leg and arm though. That's the most important thing I learnt 💁 Exciting how the team will develop by Sapphire. For myself I'll be stronger, faster, have a better understanding, making calls on the field. The last few weeks have been so hard but I'm glad I stuck it through and stayed healthy and with Football. It's going to be so worth it. Excited #linebacker #americanfootball #lineman #americanfootballuk #Boom #oursquad #gridirongirls #cardiffvalkyries #rideofthevalkyries #gettingready #ISeeYou👀

More than just a team

Unhappy memories of PE as a young girl and studying for a demanding career as a solicitor in her early twenties meant Angharad neither wanted or had the time to be messing around with sport.   All that changed however after a chance encounter with an old school friend…   Angharad recalls “I was talked into it really, next thing I knew I had been added to a Facebook group and that was it. I couldn’t back out then, I was already part of the team.” Fast forward four years and the girl who hated PE and hadn’t seen a...

Rachel is serving aces

With just one Volleyball session under her belt, Rachel Daniels went along to what she thought was a beginners try-out. It turned out to be trials to the Under 16s Welsh Volleyball Development Squad. Spotting her potential, they gave her a place on the squad and she hasn’t looked back since … “After the first training session with the squad I knew that volleyball was the sport for me and I’ve continued training and competing ever since” says Rachel, who has captained the squad over the past two years. She is a member of Cardiff Celts Volleyball Club and plays...

Erin is loving her squad

Not all of #OurSquad will end up representing Wales in their chosen sport, but Erin’s achievements in Lacrosse make for a motivating read … Erin started playing lacrosse at the age of 10. “After three seasons on the pitch, I switched to goalkeeper and haven’t looked back since” she tells us. Moving up through school and regional clubs, she played at University and then went on to represent her country. She proudly played in two World Cups for Wales (2013 and 2017) and was part of winning two European Championships silver medals (2012 and 2015). While she is at the...

Emily is kicking with confidence

Emily Roberts, now 16, from Llandudno, suffered from low self-esteem as a result of years of bullying at school, before taking up karate to build her confidence. “Sport has helped to improve my confidence and transform me as a person. I wouldn’t be who I am today without it” As a ten-year-old girl she beat the bullies and overcame issues of extreme shyness thanks to her love of martial arts. The former timid teen has seen her confidence soar and friendships flourish since her involvement in the sport. She has even gone on to teach a karate squad of her...

#OurSquad

riotcityravens

Christmas came early for the Ravens yesterday; we held our annual Christmas Scrim! Diolch yn fawr to everyone who took part, with special thanks going to our awesome officials and referees for the day. Swipe across to see our award winners 🏆 Nadolig llawen pawb! 💚🎅🎄

Lauren thinks Quidditch is magic

Always active at school, from playing rugby to dance, it seemed natural to Lauren to stay on that path – but she never expected to be playing Quidditch, a sport originating from JK Rowling’s best-selling books. She tells us how it is for us ‘Muggles’ as well … On hearing about Quidditch when she started at Bangor University, Lauren signed up to a taster session with a friend “as a joke.” She tells us: “I was a big fan of the Harry Potter books so I thought I knew what Quidditch was going to be and went along to have...

Gemma is fighting back

After breaking free from an abusive relationship, Gemma found boxing. Now she is motivating other women to get their gloves on and feel the same benefits she did. Gemma set up women’s boxing fitness class, Boxing Pretty, after it got her out of a “dark and difficult place” in her personal life. “With the support of Tony Richards at Llanrumney Phoenix ABC, I took to boxing” she recalls. “Having been a boxing fan since the age of 5.” “This was the perfect way to relieve some of the anger and stress I felt.” Llanrumney Phoenix, a community boxing club based in...

#OurSquad

amylou_murph

Check that halo 😇 around my head. Lush morning until my tyre blew and headbutted a tree...... Again 🤣 #mtbwomen #ukmtb #imbikemag #my life #mtb #mountainbike #outdoorlife #bikelife #mtbchixtrails #oursquad @flareclothingco

#OurSquad

getjinfit

💕When they smile 💕 . I can’t begin to tell you how much I love training @hey_mumma and how much I admire her. . A yummy mummy of three beautiful children, a teacher and she still makes time to train. She always pushes herself to the limits and always has a smile on her face whilst doing so. . Life can be tough enough and for mums a little harder to try and find time for themselves with baby in toe. I don’t know a bond with a child like a mother but what I do know is the love because I get to watch it everyday with my ladies and their little ones and it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. . Ladies please never apologise when your child cries, never apologise when they are being a little mischievous because it’s life it’s what they do and I honestly don’t mind and neither do any of the other ladies in class if anything you will get all the support you need. . We are a team, a squad of women who bring each other up not tare each other down. . #oursquad #personaltrainer #coach #exercise #fit #fitness #workout #mum #kids #live #love #life #smile #nevergiveup #getfit #jinfit #penarth #cardiff #motivation #determination #inspiration #womenshealth #womensfitness

#OurSquad

amylou_murph

Cannee wait for a weekend of prosecco and crashing into trees. So here's a shameless selfie for no reason. Lols. 🚵🤸 #ukmtb #imbikemag #mtbchixtrails #mtbwomen #mtb #oursquad #wintersun #smilesformiles

Ffion’s trailblazing across Wales

Ffion James, younger sibling of world champions Becky and Rachel, recently represented Great Britain at the World Cyclo-Cross championships. As a child, Ffion was desperate to get involved with the sport, seeing the early enthusiasm of her older siblings: “I got involved with mountain biking because my brothers and sisters were into it when they were really young” she said. “They were doing it and I really wanted to give it a go. I gave it a go, and I’ve loved it ever since”. Ffion recalled: “I remember crying before the start of my first race because I was so...

Amy is aiming further

Ultra Running can sound a bit daunting, but Amy tells us her amazing story to inspire us all to give it ago … “I’m still a newbie to the big world of running. Only this year I swapped running late for everything … to just running! I used to try an annual run as part of my ‘new year – new me’ mantra, which never was successful … Following wedge resection lung surgery, my plans for a gap year in Asia were put on hold. I thought running was the perfect two finger salute to cancer taking one of our...

Beccy’s bouncing about netball

Beccy Roberts, 26 is Head Coach of a large netball club in North Wales whilst playing competitively herself and teaching Physical Education at Castell Alun High School in Hope. Beccy’s love for sport stems from her school days, which she says was fostered by her PE teacher – a legacy she strives to continue with her own students. Rebecca said: “Being a full-time PE teacher can sometimes be challenging, and like everyone, I have been known to struggle to get my work-life balance right.” “I find that netball is a huge stress reliever for me.” “A lot of people feel...

Aneesa is galloping free

Like many little girls, Aneesa loved horses. When her passion for horse riding continued as a teenager, she knew it would be a big part of her life forever. Today, she owns her own Equestrian business and is motivating #OurSquad to get on a horse and give it a go! Aneesa first sat on a huge Shire horse as a baby and grew up “totally obsessed with them,” asking her Mum for a pony every birthday and Christmas. “My mum didn’t get me a pony, but when I was about 7 years old, she took me riding for the day...

Niamh is gushing about Korfball

  Korfball training turned out to be a safe haven for Niamh during her university years. Here she tells #OurSquad her story, and wants everyone to give the sport a go! Niamh was encouraged to try Korfball when her brother discovered the sport at university. He then took her along to a session. “Having no idea what I was getting myself into, I entered a sports hall and was met by a huge group of chatty, laughing people – it was so much fun!” She saw it as a new challenge and couldn’t wait for the next training session. At...

#OurSquad

oursquadcymru

N is for Netball ... pass us a bib then! Pic is from The Misfits Netball Club who are definitely #squadgoals Cymerwch ran, mae'n llawn hwyl . . . #netball #northwales #misfits #fitspo #sport #wales #womeninsport #oursquad #sgwadni #netballers #mondaymotivation #netballteam

Angharad’s batty about softball

A softball player who set-up Wales’ first Welsh language team is hoping to inspire more women and girls to take up sport regardless of their shape, size or ability. Angharad Sian Roche, 34, was originally attracted to the sport seven years ago when she unintentionally came across a game while walking through Pontcanna Fields in Cardiff. Despite having never played softball before, Angharad was instantly drawn to the ‘relaxed but fun vibe’ and it wasn’t long before she joined a team. “It’s hitting a ball and running in short spurts so you don’t have to be Kelly Homes to do...

Caroline’s at the top of her game

Caroline Matthews, 43, who lives in Sully, has represented Team GB at both the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics. Since a very young age, Caroline played as many sports as possible. Despite having trouble with her knees about the age of 12, she went on to represent Welsh Universities in rowing, basketball, and volleyball. At 16 she had her first knee operations and, despite years of treatment and surgery, she was 26 when doctors told her she would never run or jump again. Caroline had been suffering from an aggressive form of osteoarthritis in both knees. “Playing sport with people you...

Welsh Girl Problems makes a racket with #OurSquad

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was supposed to go play tennis as part of the WGP/ Our Squad partnership? Avid fans of my Insta stories will recall that due to some pretty typical Welsh weather, the lesson was called off. You’ll also remember that rather than say, run home or find another local class, I went to a bar in town and drank Prosecco in my sports kit … like some sort of fraud. Well, a couple of Fridays ago, the wind and rain held off long enough for me to get my butt down to the...

Welsh Girl Problems turns Golfer

Our guest blogger Welsh Girl Problems is trying out a few sports to help motivate #oursquad to give them a go too! First up, it’s golf… A few weeks ago you’ll remember I wrote this blog explaining that over a 3-month period, I was gunna be getting me sweat on with the new Our Squad programme and writing about it here. For the next 12 weeks, I’m gunna be trying out six sporty activities and as well as writing about them (once I’ve caught my breath), I’ll be plastering them all over my social.  Anyone who follows me on Insta...

#OurSquad

cardiffvalkyries

Another fantastic round of Topaz last Saturday! We visited the Hertfordshire Tornadoes for some training drills and a scrimmage. Once again learning so much from a Division 1 Sevens team and coming away with a lot to reflect upon. With vets new to the sevens scrimmage, and rookies new to the sport overall!, we are very proud ♥ So looking forward to the games in Sapphire Series. Thanks again to the Tornadoes for hosting us 🙆 Hell of a team #OurSquad #Cardiff #Welsh #CardiffValkyries #RideOfTheValkyries #fitness #excited #Topaz #BAFA #gridirongirls #americanfootball #americanfootballuk

Ruby loves to ride and inspire

Ruby Woods who is a British Cycling Breeze Champion first took up the sport three years ago when her boyfriend gave her a bike for her twenty-third birthday so that she could join him on rides. Soon after, Ruby decided to join her local club, Milford Tritons CC, but admits that nerves about what to expect almost held her back. “Despite the fact that my boyfriend is on the committee and his dad is the Chairman of the club, I still felt intimidated about joining Milford Tritons. “I was worried that I wouldn’t be good enough and unable to keep up...

Lifting myself up

Attending a female-only taster session at Bangor University, Grace thought she would find yet another activity she enjoyed. What she didn’t count on was just how much weightlifting would help boost her self-esteem. Now, when she’s not busy studying for an Msc in Clinical Neuropsychology, student Grace is lifting weights above her head! A bit of an all-rounder, Grace, now 23, has always been interested in sport. She danced from a young age, in everything from tap and ballet to jazz. She represented her High School cross-country team every year from Year 7 through to Year 11. She enjoyed rock...

#OurSquad

amylou_murph

Kinda glad to see a another side to racing yesterday. Had a shoddy first run. Waiting for run 2 and notice my new tubeless set up is leaking air, valve wasn't on properly, in a stressy mess you think it's all sorted.... Your number's being called so in the sheer panic you pedal off for run 2, Huck it onto the fire road, land like a ton of bricks, shins on pedals.... Realise that in all that you'd somehow locked your forks out 😂😂🤔, knowing you've already totally screwed up... Carry on, hear that noise... look down and your tyre's flat again..... And frankly just jump off the bike and give up. Buuut I'm still hungry for more 😂. On the plus side it was an epic weekend with @girl_in_the_pearls and @amidh30. So privileged to race against some amazing girls. #ukmtb #imbikemag #mtbchixtrails #vitus #melonoptics #mtbwomen @flareclothingco #mtblife #dh #oursquad

#OurSquad

habitatforfitness

URBAN WARRIOR | Our squad loving the fresh summer air ☀️🍃for the first Urban Warrior back for the season. Thanks @joe_merrall_personal_trainer . #freshair #oursquad #urbanwarrior #urbanwarriors #getfit #summerfitness #outdoortraining #outdoorgrouptraining #bootcamp #bootcampauckland #functionaltraining #functionalgrouptraining #tistheseason #christmasfitness #kingsland #aotearoa @kingslandnz #aucklandpt #ptauckland

Steph’s into brawling on skates

An international roller derby champion is hoping to inspire women and girls throughout Wales to take up sport, regardless of their shape, size and ability. Stephanie Howarth, 35, from Cardiff, has represented her local team, the Tiger Bay Brawlers, at UK, European and American roller derby tournaments. As a child, Stephanie grew up playing numerous sports in school but like many young girls lost interest during her teenage years. At 30, her interest was reignited when friends invited her to watch a game of roller derby, inspiring her to later try out for the squad. “Take that initial step and...

Finding my inner Zen

You’ll know by now that the lovely lot over at Sport Wales have asked me to come on board to support their new campaign, #OurSquad, a programme which encourages women to get involved in sports.    Enter me, the least sporty woman there is, rolling my sleeves up, donning my daps and giving it a go. Because if I can do it, anyone can!   After trying my hand at golf, which you can read about here, I was pleased to find that not all sports made you break out into a sweat, and I hardly got out of breath...

Giorgia says ‘Letzshare’

Indoors or outdoors, on snow, water or land – Giorgia has always had a passion for sport. When she graduated from a degree in Sport Management last year, she set about spreading this passion with others, by setting up the ‘Letzshare’ project. With her ethos: “You can do it, no matter what anyone tells you or makes you believe” she’s one inspiring #OurSquad member. Classing herself as a bit ‘alternative’, Giorgia has always enjoyed trying out different sports. “I’m a strong believer that women can take part in ALL sports, without barriers”, she explains. She started snowboarding at the age...

The Cardiff Bluebelles play #TogetherStronger!

It’s a bittersweet day here at WGP HQ, because this is my final Sport Wales #OurSquad blog! For those who don’t know what I’m chatting about (shame on you) you can read all about the start of my journey here and follow my previous posts on the Our Squad website. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been donning my daps, lacing up my skates and pulling on my boots, all in the name of sport! My final activity, was the one I was most looking forward to … football! My brother is a brilliant footballer and I spent a large...

Cat is keeping the spark shining

Having always loved running, mum of two Cat Johnson enjoys nothing more than teaching other women how to do the same, earning her the nickname ‘Running Mama.’ Here’s Cat’s story of why she loves to keep fit and inspire other ladies to reach their goals, #OurSquad style …  Cat has always enjoyed keeping fit. In fact, getting back in to running after some time out did wonders for her own mental health. Four years back, she attended Diva Sport session in Pengam. Her enthusiasm got her spotted and she was approached to join the team of instructors. First, she started...

#OurSquad

jj_running_newport

Tonight. We run hills! @oursquadcymru #oursquad #squadgoals #tonightwerunhills #hills #hilltraining #hillsession #girlswhorun #makewayfatgirlrunning #allsizes #allshapes #allabilities #inclusive #inclusivesport #plussize #plussizerunner #run #runner #running #runninggirl #runnersofinstagram #runnersofinstagram #irunwales #socialrunning #jjrunning

Sian is loving life on the water

After working 18-hour days in London for 15 years, Sian Sykes gave up the rat race and returned to her home in North Wales. She swapped the day job in the Big Smoke to pursue her passion by the Welsh coast – a Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) business. Here she tells #OurSquad her story and 5 reasons to give Paddleboarding a try! Sian, a qualified outdoor instructor, runs Psyched Paddleboarding in Anglesey and Snowdonia. After years living away from home and working in Creative Media in the city, Sian decided that she needed to return to her roots. “I wanted...

Jo is Climbing High

When Jo went along to a local high ropes course a few years back, she couldn’t even get off the ground. Her story of determination is #oursquad motivation. Have a read of her climbing journey … “The first time I tried a high ropes course I found it all too scary” remembers Jo. With all the gear on, she couldn’t take the first steps. I didn’t understand the harness and thought it would fail or I would fail by falling off. As a volunteer Scout Leader, she wanted to be a good adventure role model to her group and set...

Rahat and Zahra mix footie with family

Mum Rahat Shamsi never expected to find herself taking up a new hobby at the age of 54. She certainly didn’t expect to enjoy playing football with her teenage daughter Zahra. But in a small corner of North Wales, the Llysfaen Lionesses are making an almighty roar as they kick stereotypes to the curb! Read about this #OurSquad mother and daughter duo and how football is bringing them closer together. Rahat, who owns a convenience store in Rhos On Sea and is originally from Pakistan, joined the Lionesses as a good excuse to get out in the fresh air and...

Twitter Competition

The promoter is: Sport Wales whose registered office is at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. The competition is open to female residents or visitors of Wales aged 16 years or over There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via https://twitter.com/OurSquadCymru Multiple entries from the same person will be accepted and counted as a unique entry. Closing date for entry will be midday, Monday 20.11.2017. After...

This lot are fighting fit!

In one corner of North Wales, a group of females are literally kickin’ it! Martin Williams School of Taekwondo in Flintshire is not only the former club of Olympian Jade Jones, but also the training ground for many women and girls looking to let off a bit of steam and have a laugh – TKD style. Not convinced? Have a read of the stories below to help motivate you. They are all in #OurSquad so why not join them? FAMILY TIME For Emma and Faye, Taekwondo (TKD) is their mummy and daughter time. When Emma Parsons suffered a head injury...

Jin’s fitness saved her life

A fitness instructor whose fitness levels helped her overcame the odds and survive a rare auto-immune disease is hoping to inspire more women and girls throughout Wales to give a more active lifestyle a go. Jin Osborne, 34, from Penarth suffers from granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) disease, which affects just eight in a million people, and attributes her success fighting the disorder to her involvement in sport. The mother of one, who runs her own fitness class JinFit, is committed to helping women of all shapes and sizes to get active for the right reasons in a welcoming and friendly...

Joey’s found her tribe

When Joey first started running a couple of years back, she found her ‘tribe.’ It didn’t take long until she was helping others find there’s too when ‘JJ’s Running’ was born. Thanks to Joey, #OurSquad continues to grow … read her experience and get motivated to give something new a try! In early 2016, Joey came across the online running group The Fat Girl’s Guide to Running. She completed their 5 weeks to 5k programme and finished the Saint David’s Day 5K in Bute Park – without stopping. A few longer distance races later and she was completing the Leadership...

Our Squad: Competition Terms and Conditions

1. The promoter is: Sport Wales whose registered office is at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. 2. The competition is open to female residents or visitors of Wales aged 16 years or over 1. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. 1. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. 2. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via http://oursquad.cymru/ and https://twitter.com/OurSquadCymru and https://www.facebook.com/OurSgwadCymru/ and https://www.instagram.com/oursquadcymru/?hl=en 1. Multiple entries from the same person will be accepted and counted as a...

Taking to the streets

So we’re a couple of weeks into my partnership with Sports Wales and I’m now officially a fully-fledged member of #OurSquad! I’ve played a round at the Tee it Up Golf Centre, Stretched my way through a Yoga Session and now I’ve jogged my through a running session with #GirlsTogetherSplott.  You’ll remember from my initial blog that whilst I might not be the fittest little bee, I did once run a 5k, with the help of the Couch to 5k App (and a lot of support from my sports bra). However this was over a year ago, and the last time...