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One Nation charity helps to get Muslim women in Batley and Dewsbury active

By Haleema Saheed

This article was written prior to the Coronavirus lockdown.

Two organisations have teamed up to provide less active women around Batley and Dewsbury with interactive sessions to get them involved in light exercise.

The project, Tea and Trainers, was funded by Try it, Like it, Do it, a Kirklees fund set up to help increase the activity of women in a female-friendly environment, at Kick off Sports Centre.

Tea and Trainers did more than just provide women with access to light activities and sports; they also had a theme of the week from financial matters to mental health.

Megan Smithson, Volunteer at CHART Kirklees

Other local charities from the surrounding areas were also there, to raise awareness for their cause as well as showing the women what they had access to.

Megan Smithson, a volunteer for CHART Kirklees, a confidential drug and alcohol service for adults said: “The help and support we can provide can make huge changes as we are aware that drugs are a taboo subject within the Asian and Muslim community.

“It’s difficult reaching out to people, because people are scared, and they don’t know how to get help or who to go to initially.”

Uniform Exchange was also at the event; the charity takes in old school uniforms and gives them to parents who are unable to buy school uniforms for their children.

Every Wednesday from January 20 till February 12, sessions were held from 11 am till 1 pm.

Feride McNeilly, organiser, said: “The event has been a huge success, we are seeing so many women come out and participate which is all that we really wanted.”

Uniform Exchange pop up

The two organisations, One Nation, a local charity and Happy Moments, who help new mothers adjust to motherhood, worked together to organise the event.

Happy Moments help new mums come to terms with motherhood and provide a safety net at what could be a very isolating and difficult time.

picture @thisGirlCan twitter

The This Girl Can campaign started out in 2015 and has since pushed over three million women to get active. The initial campaign started out to get more women active but over the years as they achieved in that aspect, more areas of concern were highlighted. Research shows that the biggest factor stopping women from exercising is judgement from other people; because of the way they look during or after exercise. This Girl Can want to show real women with all their insecurities exercising and showing that every woman can do something to keep themselves active.

Hafizah Valimulla, founder of Happy Moments said: “We are empowering women to get out of the house and it can develop their confidence and motivate them to do other things.
“We have seen so many ladies come off the pitch with smiles on their faces, they have really enjoyed the events.

“It’s something different that’s never been done before and it has made so many women happy.”

There was a wide range of activities such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions with professional personal trainers, rounders, badminton and self-defense classes.

A refreshment stall was set up, for after exercise snacks with the money raised going to the One Nation charity who are currently building shelters in Idlib, Syria.

Nafeesa Mayet, a volunteer at the event said: “It gets older ladies out, as well as ladies who lack confidence and haven’t done sports since they left school.

“I think we have identified a real gap in our community, and we need to keep something going to keep women active.

“The main element of this is, it’s not about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can do.”


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