#EngageYourSenses: stories of women’s emotional connection with their sport and the outdoors


Nicola Waterworth // 28 September 2018

Because at Find It Film we want to tell a diverse range of stories we experiment with different ways of working with women athletes to narrate their experiences. With our #EngageYourSenses project Ellis Brigham supported us to invite five athletes to explore their emotional connection with their sporting achievements through the five senses. What do these women see, touch, smell, hear, taste when they are at their best and when conditions become challenging.


“As soon as I arrived at Choshi Marina I could smell the sea, that rich smell of ocean, fresh and fishy. To me it is a smell that triggers many memories: the excitement of impending departure and imminent arrival. My dream is real.”

Lia Ditton – Ocean Rower attempting first female solo pacific row 2018.

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In these five linked films Laura Jones, attempting seven marathons - one on each continent - tells us evocatively of the “howling loud noise” as she battles the harsh wind in Patagonia at the “marathon at the end of the world”. Laura Kennington, adventurer, speaks of the beauty of first light and seeing the world “from a different perspective” on the water in her kayak. Millie Knight, GB paralympic downhill skier reflects on the feel of cold mountain air and hard packed snow as she describes her experience of skiing, “The speed I feel most comfortable at is when I'm going really fast”. The feel of rock, and the experience of pain on her hands, preoccupies Georgia Pilkington as she climbs. And Lia Ditton depicts for us the texture and colours of the water and the unmistakable smell as she approaches land, like “someone watered a fresh garden”.

All of these experiences and their telling are different as these women explore the impact of their own physicality, mental state and the outdoor environment. Yet there is a common theme across all of these films. We hear powerfully about the freedom that comes from the opportunity to immerse themselves in the outdoor environment and their sport that enables them to truly connect with their intrinsic self and motivations. These women speak of their lives enriched, of the learning they have been privileged to gain through their experiences and they share common desires to explore their limits and know and appreciate their capabilities. They speak of feeling their anxiety and fears and acting anyway, of increasing their self-belief and becoming mentally stronger as they pursue their goals,


“I hope that when I finish, this self belief will go on to other things I do",

Laura Jones, from non-runner to 7 marathons in one year.

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All of the #EngageYourSenses films are available for free download to schools and not-for-profit groups . We want to express a massive thank-you to Ellis Brigham for supporting us in this project and to Matt Higson for excellent filming and editing support. Above all we owe a massive debt of thanks to Laura, Laura, Millie, Georgia and Lia for getting to know us, trusting us and letting us help them to explore and tell some of their story to others.