Sarah and Fazeela went from being inactive to active. Their fitness journey saw them meet in a local fitness class and develop a friendship.
They enjoyed their new activities and the positive changes they made to their lives. They then thought of how to share this with the women in their community.
Women being active as the norm
Fazeela realised that when she was younger it wasn’t the norm to see women going out to exercise and being active. Many women in the community kept to their homes and family life. As she went out to exercise more, she met new people and made more connections. She also noticed the impact on her family with her teenage daughters now seeing exercise as a normal part of life. She wanted this to be the experience for more women.
Getting more women active
After doing a 12-week fitness course, taking exercise classes and completing a women only Couch to 5K running course, Fazeela and Sarah felt ready to get more women around them active. They had met trainers along the way who had encouraged and motivated them and they felt inspired by this.
They started by organising a group of local women to exercise together and then moved on to organising taster activities and courses. They organised rock climbing, bouncing on inflatables, tackling assault courses and a couch to 5k running course.
This required a bit of planning but they took it as a chance to walk to the coffee shop, have a catch up and get things started. In doing their research they found that there weren’t many women only spaces which was important to their local community.
“It’s busy but it’s great – we walk to the coffee shop, have a catch up and get things in motion.”
Connecting with the local community
They have met new people along the way and feel more connected. They also hope they have changed people’s perceptions of them as Muslim women.
They have helped women try things they never thought were ‘for them’ and continue to show people that many activities are available for all women.
Fazeela and Sarah have made a difference to physical activity in their local community. They have looked for support where they have needed it and championed physical activity.
You can create the changes you want to see. If you want to start something in your local community, get in touch. We can help you shape your idea.