International Women’s Day 2023
Today is International Women’s Day – a day that is an incredible celebration of women, what people have accomplished, and encouraging others to try new things.
Leave No Trace Ireland is deeply committed to empowering women to find their place in the outdoors. Leave No Trace Ireland CEO, Maura Kiely, is an experienced Outdoor Guide and a Leave No Trace Advanced Trainer, has completed a trans-Atlantic voyage from the Caribbean to the Azores, as well as holding senior outdoor qualifications and experience in a wide range of water-based sports.
Throughout all of our staff and trainers, there is a strong connection to our outdoor spaces.
Often, ones commitment to the outdoors comes from our own personal connection to nature – which frequently develops through outdoor sports and recreation. Leave No Trace Ireland recognises the importance of forming this bond and feeling of belonging in the outdoors, as a vital part of how many people begin to incorporate Leave No Trace ethics and principles into their lives and actions.
This International Women’s Day falls in the Women In Sports week, when local sports partnerships across the country work to include a wider range of people in sports and outdoor activities.
This year there is the extra layer of “HER Moves” – a campaign to encourage young girls to take part in sport.
Research carried out by Sport Ireland states that: Participating in sport and physical activity provides multiple benefits for physical and mental health, and for potential quality of life. However, women and girls have long been an underrepresented group in sport and teenage girls in particular take part in sport and physical activity far less than the national average in Ireland. Evidence suggests participation plummets during adolescence with just 7% of girls age 14-15 years meeting recommended physical activity levels.
Launching today, the Her Moves Campaign vision is to implement a systems change that will give girls the confidence and motivation, to feel empowered to be active in their own way, to be excited about trying new activities, and to reframe what sport is all about.
Today, we’re highlighting training events, sporting activities, resources, and inspiration for everyone to find a way to enjoy our outdoors – through sport, casual recreation, and outdoor education!
Below, you’ll find three sections: Women in Sport Week; Get Outdoors Groups; Resources & Inspiration!
Women in Sport Week
Women in Sport (WIS) week is taking place March 6th– 12th.
Sport Ireland’s vision for women in sport is one where women have an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential, while enjoying a lifelong involvement in sport. The topics focused on for this year’s Women in Sport Week include high performance, coaching & officiating, active participation, and visibility & events.
Get Involved – Events & Taster Sessions:
- Cycling Ireland has everything from MTB, to women-only track events – find something for you on the bottom half of this page!
- Vision Sports Ireland promote sport and physical activity for people who are blind/vision impaired of all ages and abilities. Check out the fantastic ambassadors and leaders they’ve lined up for the week here, and find their upcoming events in general here.
- Irish Wheelchair Association are having a huge celebration on the 11th of March at their headquarters Clontarf – learn more here!
- Cork Sports Partnership has capoeira tasters, orienteering open days, figure skating intros, and so much more! Find the info and book here.
- Rowing Ireland have several online events from Monday to Friday – more info here.
- Meath Local Sports Partnership has resources from coaching workshops to social soccer – find them all linked on this page.
- Limerick Sports Partnership have webinars, walks, buggy buddies, functional fitness – lots to choose from! Find the info and book here.
- Waterford Sports Partnership has swimming, soccer, and coaching workshops. Find the info here, and book here.
- Swim Ireland have discounted Continual Professional Development (CPD) courses and online resources, for Women in Sports week only! Learn more here, and see the list of training options here.
- Laois Sports Partnership’s list of events and activities can be found here!
- Wicklow Sports Partnership has trail running, kickboxing, and more – read the full list here.
- Mayo Sports Partnership have their full week of planned events listed here.
- Donegal Sports Partnership has a 4 week kayaking programme for women starting on the 11th of March (more info here), and Maghery Coastal Adventures has organised a sunset kayaking evening, and rock climbing on Cruit Island.
If you’re looking for events happening near to you, look up your local Sports Partnership!
Get Outdoors Groups
For many, getting outdoors by themselves is a daunting challenge, and can create barriers to enjoying nature.
Galz Gone Wild, an all female lead community that encourages and grows the confidence of women outdoors, often shares how over 90% of the women who go to their events attend their own, and encourage others to not worry about signing up for something by themselves.
Here is a list of women-led groups around the country doing a variety of activities:
- Galz Gone Wild (Dublin/Wicklow, Galway)
- Nature Therapy Ireland (Dublin & south east)
- Siúl Linn (South East)
- The Hike Life (Wicklow / Nationwide)
Snámhí Sásta (Clare)
- Salty Sea Sisters (UK & Ireland)
- Diversified Ireland (Dublin/Nationwide)
- Soul Stuff Social (Nationwide)
Inspiration and Resources
Podcast: How Women Changed the World on Two Wheels
“If you have a dusty bike in your shed this episode will inspire you to pump up the tyres jump in the saddle and feel the wind in your hair… For women, the humble bicycle is much more than a mode of transport. Over the last century the so called ‘freedom machines’ have helped women gain independence, increased social and political freedom and brought countless hours of joy.”
Listen to this great podcast by WomenInSport.org, a UK Charity:
Free Online Course: Introduction To Leave No Trace
Our online course is completely free, typically takes less than an hour to complete, and offers an insight into some of the topics covered in a full Leave No Trace Awareness course!
How to deal with your period while outdoors: Leave No Trace Skills
Waymaking: An anthology of women’s adventure writing, poetry and art
Waymaking is an anthology of prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape. With contributions from a variety of adventurers, it is an inspiring and pivotal work published in an era when wilderness conservation and gender equality are at the fore.
A Lunar Cycle – Easkey Britton
“Fusing cold water surfing, dance & poetry, Easkey Britton explores a synodic month from a female perspective. Taking us on an emotive journey through the places in-between, where instability reigns supreme. Embracing the imperfections as we connect with ourselves and the environment around us.”
Easkey is the first Irish woman to be nominated for the Global WSL Big Wave Awards but there’s more to Easkey than surfing. It is her intellect and her quest to learn and create change in an often unfair world that really defines her. A scientist, academic and social activist, with a PhD in Environment and Society, Easkey is always one to look in places others aren’t for the answers to difficult questions. Her curiosity and passion for fairness and gender equality are the qualities that others to her.
Learn more about her work here.