A year ago, Jade Cuningham, a P.E. teacher at Greenfield Community School noticed that many of her female students had a misconception about what it means to be active and healthy. Her secondary students thought that being active meant being competitive, this coupled with a fear of failing, led many of the school’s students to stay within their comfort zones and not try new activities. “Girls are often under a lot of added pressure relating to body image and peer pressure. I wanted to change my students’ mindsets and at the same time encourage them to live healthy lives,” says Cunningham. With this in mind, Cunningham developed the Wellthy Girls Initiative.
Wellthy Girls started as a half day workshop but now runs as a weekly Extra Curricular Activity that encourages young women to try something outside their comfort zones, develop strong social circles and promote mental and physical well-being. Each week, Cunningham takes her students to try a new experience including: paddle boarding, CrossFit, rock climbing, parkour, orienteering, yoga and golf. Cunningham is adamant that “the goal of Wellthy Girls isn’t to be perfect, to look a certain way, or to compete with each other. The goal is to be happy and healthy in who you are right now and to live life to the fullest.”
Each company that GCS partners with is carefully selected by Cunningham so that her students can continue exploring the activity of their choice after school hours. “I never thought being a part of this initiative would be something I’d enjoy but it exposed me to CrossFit and now I go to CrossFit Sands on my own and love it!” says Sarah Kerkab, a grade 10 student at GCS, “Wellthy Girls helped me realize that by making goals and working towards them I can overcome my fears and increase my confidence.”
Contributed by: Jewelia Dakin
Greenfield Community School