Miglena Vladova – This Girl Can Case Study

Miglena Vladova

This Girl Can Case Study

Be patient. Don’t expect any overnight makeover bullshit to be your story. Give it an year, two or three, make it a habit, be part of a sports group team class get a trainer be persistent.


What activity or sport do you regularly participate in?

PT, classes, weight lifting, mountain climbing, running, gym sessions (on my own), volleyball and beach volleyball


What do you love most about physical activity?

I like the feeling of becoming stronger, more disciplined in every aspect of life and the fact that it teaches you how to deal with failure and that success is not an overnight phenomenon.


Can you tell us about your favourite activity or sport you currently do, why you enjoy it and what’s it’s like to take part in?

My favourite sport has always been volleyball as it teaches you discipline teamwork and commitment. Being part of a team is one of the greatest feelings. Also my country has great traditions in volleyball.


Can you tell us how you got involved in physical activity?

I come from a country where sport is seen as something special rather than the obligation that I feel it represent for young people here. We had limited resources but nonetheless we practiced anywhere and anytime we could. My greatest inspirations have always been professional volleyball players (male and female) volleyball feels like one of the few sports where women play in the same ranks as men in terms of the size of the field and the amount of points needed. It always used to feel like there was no reason why I would not be able to do what the male or female players on the TV were doing.


What do you think the biggest challenge is for women participating in physical activity?

One of the biggest challenges has always been the notion that physical activity would make you look like a man, make you bulky or unattractive or less feminine in general. Another challenge especially for young girls in my country was that girls were always expected to be smart and to study hard which for some reason never included sports. To the point where I was forced to leave professional volleyball if I were to graduate even though I had the highest grades in my year.


What motivates you to regularly continue participating in physical activity?

The feeling of always bettering yourself and the notion that there is no limit. Also the adrenaline rush after practice and the fact that physical activity seems to be the most effective cure for anxiety.


How do you balance your studies/work, your social life and your physical activity?

With great effort and a fair amount of failure. In my opinion it is about priorities and being able to not do something or go somewhere with friend in the name of a greater goal, be it workwise or not. Dropping the ball on everything simultaneously for a long period of times has also happened. Planning, schedules and foregoing some activities seems to help.


If you could give one bit of advice to those thinking of getting involved in physical activity, what would it be?

Be patient. Don’t expect any overnight makeover bullshit to be your story. Give it an year, two or three, make it a habit, be part of a sports group team class get a trainer be persistent.

This Girl Can is a national campaign developed by Sport England, encouraging women of all abilities to get active. Returning between the 19th- 25th of November, the week has loads of ways for you to get involved. Partnering with UPSU for the week, we have a great range of opportunities available. From FREE gym sessions to sport sessions to trying your hand at ‘Strictly’ style dancing, there is something for every girl.


The sessions are more focused on breaking down barriers, keeping you happy and healthy than your ability, so give it a go. There’s no judgement, so forget about your face getting red, remembering the steps and just get involved! Because after all #fithappens.


This Girl Can week actvities

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