Sports minister joins women for bootcamp

Bury Times: Sports Minister Helen Grant joins in the I Will If You Will bootcamp taster Sports Minister Helen Grant joins in the I Will If You Will bootcamp taster

THE new Sports Minister came to Prestwich to witness first-hand a pioneering £2.3 million sports initiative designed to get more women taking exercise.

Helen Grant visited Manchester Maccabi Community and Sports Club, off Bury Old Road, last week to take part in a female-only bootcamp session.

The class is part of I Will If You Will, a year-long campaign to get more women playing sport. Activities are designed to address feedback from women that they would be more likely to try sport if there were female-only sessions. Mrs Grant, who is also the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, was full of praise for pilot programme.

She said: “It’s been fantastic doing a workout with these ladies; they are having a great time and enjoying it. I Will If You Will is literally listening to what women say they want and giving it to them.

“It’s about breaking down the barriers that stop women getting into sport.

“Considering there are 1.7 million more men than women taking part in sport, this is encouraging.”

The bootcamp session was led by Prestwich mother-of-four Sakina Khan, aged 36. Despite having high blood pressure and diabetes, Ms Khan is a qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor.

She said: “I love every session I do. It’s about bringing women to do something that, normally, they would-n’t do. I want to show them that if I can do it, so can they.

“There’s a lot of sustainability with these classes. The more people get used to them, it will become a routine. That’s what we want I Will If You Will to be — part of people’s everyday lifestyle.”

Tanya Joseph, of Sport England, also attended. She said: “I view this as a fantastic project.”

The bootcamp was one of three taster sessions. The others were a burlesque class and a pilates class.

n Ms Grant later took a tour of the Fusilier Museum in Bury to see refurbished galleries.

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