Women-only swimming lessons are proving to be a great success in Morden.
Fitness company Sunnah Sports have teamed up with Better Gym and Morden community centre to offer weekly swimming session just for women.
Safwan Gaskin, 33, is the founder of Sunnah Sports and is passionate about connecting cultures through sport.
Following an article written by the SW Londoner on the lack of participation in swimming from Muslim females and Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign, Mr Gaskin was inspired to introduce these female-only sessions.
“There’s a number of reasons for women only activities, some are religious reasons, some are cultural and some are confidence issues,” Mr Gaskin said.
‘It’s an hour where women can come and socialise in a comfortable environment and feel safe’
Since its inception, the class has been a success, with 24 women attending the first session while numbers have continued to increase.
Nadia Kalooji, 27, has been a regular at the sessions, and praised the female life guards and activators for creating a positive environment.
She said: “I’m already a keen swimmer but I hadn’t swum in almost 5 years so my confidence was declining to say the least.
I’ve been for 3 weeks now and I can honestly see an improvement in my fitness and swimming ability.”
Heather St Clare is a Swim Activator at Wimbledon Better Gym, and goes to the sessions at Morden to offer support and guidance.
She said: ‘We have a number of Muslim women who swim only because it is a woman only session’
It is a great opportunity for women to get involved in swimming without any pre- conceived worries, and its popularity speaks volumes.
Looking ahead, Mr Gaskin is now looking to continue this trend and wants to start offering women-only classes in other sports.
Women only swimming classes are held at Morden Park Pools every Monday from 8.30pm – 9.30pm.