Active Women’s Health Initiative Working to Support ‘Play for Her’ Challenge

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

Rachel Kleis is always looking for ways to stay active. Lucky for her, the Active Women’s Health Initiative is sponsoring a new event — one that will help girls and women do just that. 

Kleis, MS, ATC, and a doctoral candidate in the Rehabilitation and Health Sciences Doctoral Program, has signed up for the inaugural Play for Her challenge, a virtual, 10-day movement activity.

“As a previous athlete, I love to find ways to stay active and challenge myself physically,” she said. “Additionally, I think virtual events are a great way to try new activities and meet individuals that I may not have access to otherwise.”

The challenge supports the Active Women’s Health Initiative, a group of researchers, clinicians and professionals who are working together at UK to improve the health of girls and women through research, outreach and educational efforts. The mission of the Initiative is to “optimize health and promote physical activity and wellness for girls and women across the lifespan.”

By signing up, participants get access to a virtual 10-day movement challenge (scheduled Nov. 5-14) to help encourage them to be active, try new activities, and have fun with a supportive community. There are also chances to win prizes for playing.

“We created Play for Her to raise awareness and support for the Active Women’s Health Initiative while simultaneously working toward our mission,” said Dee Dlugonski, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Sports Medicine Research Institute. “This event will support Active Women’s Health Initiative research and community outreach efforts, such as our Girls Can program and Champions of Active Women podcast. Over the past few years, we have reached more than 500 girls in the local community with our programs, and we hope to expand this reach in the future.”

The deadline to sign up is Nov. 4. All are welcome, and challenges can be tailored to one’s ability and interests. Once registered, participants will receive more information using the Eventzee app.

“I signed my family up for the Play for Her challenge because my 11-year-old daughter and I have enjoyed so many great events with the Active Women’s Health Initiative at UK,” said Lindsey Jasinski, PhD and assistant professor of Psychiatry. “This virtual event is easy for us to use at home and incorporate into our busy lives, and brings us together as a family who is physically active together. The pandemic has increased stress for everyone — kids and parents alike — and what better way to combat stress than to move together? I hope this is something we can continue even after the challenge is complete. I look forward to all the exciting challenges and the custom app!”

It's exactly what organizers of the challenge are hoping to do.

Said Dlugonski: “We are excited to bring together a community of individuals to support the active pursuits of girls and women in this fun movement challenge.”