Female-only keep fit scheme launches across Islington – at just £2 per session

This Girl Can Islington launched in Sobell Leisure Centre last week

This Girl Can Islington launched in Sobell Leisure Centre last week - Credit: Archant

A “genuinely affordable” campaign has been launched to break down barriers women and girls face in getting exercise.

As part of “This Girl Can Islington”, they can take part in physical activity ranging from trampolining to boxing at just £2 a session, and without any commitment to membership.

It comes after research found 40 pc of women in Islington exercised once a week in 2013/14, compared with 53 pc of men. This was a gap that more than doubled since 2005/06.

Sharareh Avazzadeh, club development officer for Islington Leisure Team, is leading the female-only project, which launched with a free taster session at Sobell Leisure Centre last week.

She said: “The barriers are much greater for girls and women. There are internal factors. A big issue for girls is not wanting to get sweaty. So as part of beating that, we want to shift the focus away from competition to having fun and taking part.

“If you are a single mum, or a mum, you have to pay for a child’s football sessions, not to mention everything else like meals. There can be a massive guilt about paying money your own gym membership, for example.

“So we think the £2 cost will remove that. It’s genuinely affordable and there’s no membership required like it can be at a gym. They can turn up when they want.”

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She added: “Also, some classes will be sustainable, in that they can be incorporated into their lives.

“For example, we will run mum and toddler dance classes so they can spend time with their children while exercising.”

This Girl Can Islington has £539,000 of funding from various public authorities and charities over a three-year period.

To view activities on offer, visit islington.gov.uk/tivewomenandgirls