Sport Sheffield will launch free Women Only sessions at Goodwin Sports Centre this Sunday in a new scheme which aims to make the gym less ‘intimidating’.

The sessions have been organised by Sheffield Students’ Union’s Welfare Officer Katharine Swindells and Sports Officer Sarah Morse, in partnership with Sport Sheffield.

They will run on Sunday evenings from 6-7pm, outside the gym’s normal opening time, to ensure that regular workout time is not affected. The sessions will be just like normal gym time, although the staff on hand will be women too.

Miss Swindells said: “Everyone knows that exercise is really good for your mental and physical health, and making the gym more accessible was part of my manifesto last year.

“I knew from my own and friends’ experience that it can be really intimidating using the gym, especially if you’re just starting. We’d joke about not being able to go downstairs in Goodwin where the weight machines are, because it tends to be mostly used by men, and you feel like you’re being watched or judged.

“So when I came into the role I wanted to try and push for a women’s-only hour, so that women who might feel uncomfortable or embarrassed usually can use the gym in a more relaxed environment, and maybe try some new machines and exercises too.”

Image: Sport Sheffield

The sessions are part of a wider project that Miss Swindells and Miss Morse are working on with Sport Sheffield to engage inactive women in sport, and they received funding from British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) to help make it happen.

Miss Swindells continued: “It’s something Sport Sheffield are really keen on, as they know women face barriers using their facilities, and they have been amazingly helpful and supportive.

“Sarah and I have loved reading through all the comments on social media, seeing women tagging their mates and planning to go together. Because BUCS have given us funding for this, they’ll want to see comprehensive feedback, so we’ll be collecting data on the sessions and running focus groups on barriers women face in sport more broadly as well.”

The sessions are free but must be booked in advance. Once you have logged into your Sports Sheffield account, follow the steps below to reserve a place:
Make Booking > GS Goodwin Sports Centre > Fitness Classes
> Sunday – Women’s Only Gym Sessions.

Main image: Sport Sheffield

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