Female sports campaign fits the bill for businesswoman Suzanne

One of the Sheffield City Region’s most high profile businesswomen has given her backing to a campaign encouraging more women and girls to get involved in sport.

Suzanne Liversidge, a partner at top city law firm Kennedys, has recently taken up fitness training and, as part of This Girl Can, is hoping to inspire other females to follow in her footsteps.

The former president of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce demonstrated her new found sports skills during a special session in the gym at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

This Girl Can is a Sport England campaign which is being supported locally by the charity Sheffield City Trust (SCT), which runs Ponds Forge.

Suzanne, who is also a patron of women’s charity, Ashiana Sheffield, said: “This Girl Can is a fantastic campaign which I’m proud to support.

“I’ve always loved sport. As a teenager I was a regional competition sprinter and extremely sporty. But over the years, life and work commitments have taken over. I became unfit, in particular after surgery on my shoulder, which left me unable to do any exercise. I was stuck in a spiral of unhealthy living and endless corporate dinners.”

Suzanne is also vice chair of Sheffield United’s community foundation – a charity that encourages health, wellbeing and learning for young people through sport, in particular football.

She added: “When I was young, girls didn’t play football, although I think I would have loved it! So now I’m passionate about getting young girls participating in the sport. We have a fantastic uptake in the city, hopefully even more motivated by the amazing world cup run of the England Lionesses.

“Post-surgery, I certainly didn’t look like someone to promote health and wellbeing. I had great support from my physio and my personal trainer James so started to improve. But I got stuck in a rut again. Eventually l linked up with, Fiona Harrison, a former GB and Olympic athlete.

“She focussed on my strength and fitness but also my nutrition. She made me believe, that despite my downward spiral, I could rediscover my passion for athletics and sport. In fact I could do anything. I have already lost eight kilos of fat and feel a totally different person.  

“I train five times a week, sometimes with my old school mates who are also now doing the programme. I’ve got double the energy and feel great. I run, cycle, box, row, lift weights and even flip giant tractor tyres. I sleep well, eat well and feel well.

“I’m still at the beginning of my journey but hopefully one day, I’ll get my own game of football, albeit at veteran level! And maybe I’ll even get the sprinting spikes out of the cupboard. After all, every girl can, can’t they?” 

Fiona Harrison said: “Suzanne’s hard work and training is second to none. She is my strongest girl and regularly lifts more than the boys!”

Sheffield City Trust’s charitable objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of Sheffield people by providing facilities for sport and leisure activities.

As part of the campaign, the trust has put on a range of free women-only sport, exercise and activity sessions in venues across Sheffield as well as in the local community.

Dawn Hickman, director at SCT, said: “Suzanne is a great role model and a fantastic ambassador for our campaign, which is all about celebrating active women and inspiring more females to feel confident and happy taking part in sport and exercise.”

Suzanne Liversidge
Suzanne Liversidge

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