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Newington Green Primary School students blowing off steam thanks to after-school club

10:47 27 November 2016

Newington Green Primary School students during a Mini Mermaids running club session.

Newington Green Primary School students during a Mini Mermaids running club session.

Archant

A woman is looking to encourage self-confidence among young girls at Newington Green Primary School.

"I’d like to help girls achieve a balanced state of mind and body much earlier in life than I did"

Khara Mills

Khara Mills, who lives in Newington Green herself, runs after-school running club Mini Mermaid to give a group of girls a platform to talk about their emotions.

It is not all about chatting though, as the girls are working towards taking part in the 5k Highbury Fields Parkrun at the end of their course in December.

Khara has been inspired by her own childhood, and wants to buck the trend in schools across north London after the pilot club with Newington Green is completed.

“I grew up with a lot of opportunities to take part in sports and activities, but no platform for talking or discussions around feelings,” she said.

“Only more recently do I understand how restricting that was to some of my personal and emotional development.

“I didn’t feel there was space and time or encouragement to learn or talk about the thoughts in my head and how I felt about all sorts of things.

“Luckily my active lifestyle helped boost my self confidence, allowing me to feel comfortable in my own skin and lead a fulfilled life as well as deal with my challenges.

“I’d like to help girls achieve a balanced state of mind and a balanced stronger body much earlier in life than I did, so they can make the most of their lives whatever their background or what they have.”

The programme was designed in the United States as a means of helping young girls with low self-confidence.

Director Hannah Corne, who brought the programme over from America and developed it in Leeds, said: “This programme isn’t just about getting girls’ up and running. We explore the reasons behind why girls’ personal esteem is low and how this correlates to their lack of movement and activity.

“Crucially, we don’t focus on how fast they are or competing against others, we focus on their inner self and help them discover how movement and activity not only benefits their physical health but also their mental health.”

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