CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD ‘DO IT IN A DRESS’ TO FUND EDUCATION

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By Bridget Lane

 

There are 66 million girls over the world who are not in school and a group of local athletes are doing something about it. 

The men and women of CrossFit Collingwood have not only been busy lifting, squatting and pressing, but they have also been hard at work raising money to fund education projects for girls in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

The group decided to partake in the ‘Do It In A Dress’ fundraiser, when fellow CrossFit athlete, Lisette Muratore brought the cause to their attention.  Do It In A Dress sees individuals across Australia – with some international participants in the mix – wearing school dresses while completing self-directed challenges.  This campaign is run by not-for-profit organisation One Girl, also a local collective, with their headquarters located in Collingwood.

This CrossFit community swapped their shorts and singlets for school dresses during their morning workout on Saturday 25 October.   With an inspiring amount of interest in their challenge, the group has eclipsed their initial fundraising goal of $1,500, with their total amount presently sitting at over $13,000.  This amount has earned them third place on the national Do It In A Dress fundraising leader board and is enough to send 43 girls to school for one year.

In Sierra Leone only one in six girls gets the opportunity to attend high school – a girl is more likely to be a child bride than to get a secondary education.  Initiatives such as Do It In A Dress offer a means to take action against this inequality through supporting female education projects.

Do It In A Dress is all about having fun whilst making a difference. If you believe every girl has the right to an education, it’s time to take a stand – in a school dress – for girls’ education!”

“The impact of sending just one girl to school is undeniable. She will marry later, have a smaller and healthier family and for every year a girl stays in school she’ll increase her income by at least 10%, investing 90% of it back into her family,” says David Dixon, Co-Founder of One Girl.

Co-Founder, Chantelle Baxter adds, “Do It In A Dress is all about having fun whilst making a difference. If you believe every girl has the right to an education, it’s time to take a stand – in a school dress – for girls’ education!”

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Coach, Renee Purbrick explains how CrossFit culture itself strongly champions the importance of stamping out sexist notions in sport.

“The subject of gender equality comes up in the initial stages of someone’s membership, in the sense that men and women become aware that women can be as strong and as capable as their male counterparts and vice versa”.

 

To date, One Girl has used the money raised to fund education scholarships, train girls in small business skills, provide access to affordable, biodegradable sanitary pads and construct a school, which will benefit over 250 students.”

 

Wearing a school dress so that a girl in Sierra Leone can wear one too, has become the dominant icon of One Girl’s efforts.  Since the inception of the fundraiser in 2011, a variety of groups and individuals have taken part, all possessing the common desire to give girls in West Africa the opportunities that their gender has denied them.

 

To date, One Girl has used the money raised to fund education scholarships, train girls in small business skills, provide access to affordable, biodegradable sanitary pads and construct a school, which will benefit over 250 students.

 

The CrossFit Collingwood environment, which Purbrick describes as an, “awesome, supportive and unified group of people,” is another example of how communities have the potential to forge real changes, where they are needed most.

 

 

For further information or to donate to “Do It In A Dress”, visit doitinadress.com/team/crossfit-collingwood

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