Swimming sessions for the local muslim community
The swimming sessions located in Old Harlow, were set up to reduce the high levels of inactivity within the Muslim community in the local area. The sessions provided an opportunity for the attendees to get active and meet others.
The initiative was set up by Zubaida, a GP living in the area, who was aware of the high levels of inactivity within the Muslim Community across Harlow. Local opportunities were non-existent with the closest being in London, which was unrealistic, both logistically and financially for residents.
Zubaida used a placed-based working approach to help identify and understand the local assets within the community that could support the idea. Working with Active Essex, Zubaida was able to identify a swimming pool that would be out of public viewing, have gender specific changing rooms and could provide female lifeguards, meeting the needs of the community.
Thanks to the connection that Zubaida has with the local Muslim community, she has been able to work with Adam from Comfort Aquatics, who runs the swimming pool at Freshwaters Academy, identifying other gaps in the current swimming provision. As a result, they are working together to explore other female only swimming lessons as well as family swim sessions.
The ladies, aged from 30-60 years old, have been enjoying this opportunity in its comfortable environment with their health appearing to have improved. As a result of how successful this project has been, the number of sessions have now increased weekly and there are discussions around a male only group being developed.