As part of our partnership with VicHealth, we had the pleasure of working with production agency We Are Yarn, to tell our story of body positive hiking. We are super proud of this short doco!
As part of the evaluation at the wrap up for the VicHealth Sports Innovation Grant, we asked our program attendees how Escaping Your Comfort Zone makes them feel. Here’s what they said:
We were named as Finalists in the VicSport Awards 2017 – VicHealth Victorian Outdoor/Active and Recreation Initiative of the Year – March 2018
Escaping Your Comfort Zone Inc. is a hiking and adventure group aimed at plus size women who are currently beginners to the sport or are not physically active. The focus is not on weight loss or fitness, rather about connecting like-minded women and exploring the outdoors in a non-judgemental, safe environment. The group operates across Melbourne, Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula. In 2017, 250 hiking and adventure events took place with 930 participants in total, with 230 unique individuals who attended at least 1 event every week. This initiative identified that plus size women are most commonly targeted by sports and fitness groups with the “you need to be fixed” mentality of weight loss and fitness. Instead, the approach was to promote movement as a fun and positive experience with new friends. This creates a positive experience for attendees when there is no pressure of fitness or weight loss. The inclusive nature of the group and the representation of all body sizes is designed to make participants feel welcome, understood, not judged, and above all, feel like they are part of a community. Many of the participants have started out as beginners who have never walked 1km and advanced onto multi-day hikes, half marathon events, triathlons, 1 million steps in 1 month and even climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. See the details here.
In March 2019, we are hosting the inaugural Body Positive Stomp, a judgement free, un-timed, social 4.km walk/shuffle/run/jog/crawl along the amazing trails as part of the Warburton Trail Fest. Here’s the local Yarra Ranges newspaper article:
Hiking in the Thrill Zone – Star Weekly newspaper, Werribee – March 2018
One of our amazing members, and volunteer leaders, Kylie Harris was excited to share her hiking experiences with her local newspaper, the Star Weekly. We were pretty excited that we even got a photo shoot out of it! See the article here.
We have been awarded a VicHealth Sports Innovation Grant! – January 2017
We are super excited to announce that we have been awarded a Sports Innovation Grant from VicHealth in 2017. VicHealth is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health, and is a pioneer in health promotion – the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health. Their primary focus is promoting good health and preventing chronic disease. We are super excited to receive recognition for the amazing opportunities we are giving Victorian plus size women. Check out the media release here
Here’s a peek at our original Vichealth application video:
We are Tough Girls! – August 2016
In August 2016, I (Richelle) was interviewed by Sarah Williams, from the Tough Girl Podcast, UK – 2016. She was totally humbled to be invited onto the podcast, sharing the airwaves with Tough Girls who had climbed Everest, rowed the Atlantic and generally done some pretty tough stuff. I had a great chat with Sarah, talking about how I got started adventuring, and how I have explored the Inca Trail, Everest Base Camp, riding almost 5,000kms from Canada to Mexico, and a whole lot of things in between. We had a great chat about mindset, and how we get through the tough days. And best of all, I got to share with her my plans for Escaping Your Comfort Zone!
We are Travel, Playing and Living! – July 2016
In our opinion, Travel Play Live is Australia’s best women’s adventure magazine. We were truly chuffed to have Escaping Your Comfort Zone featured in the July 2016 edition.