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First Muslim Women Gym to Open in Wales

CARDIFF – Filling a void in the community, Britain’s first gym for Muslim women is due to open soon in Cardiff, South Wales, encouraging Muslim women to stay fit.

“It’s a commercial venture for a niche market. It is to encourage this sector of the community to get fit,” outreach worker Mohammed Alamgir told Daily Star on Tuesday, May 3.

“There will be running machines, step and cardio machines, cross trainers and fitness classes.”

Planned in Cardiff, the new Hayaa Fitness gym will have the usual fitness equipment including treadmills, exercise bikes and weights.

Being restricted to women only, either Muslims or non-Muslims, it will also feature an onsite prayer room.

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“Once they are in this gym there are no men. In this gym they won’t have to have scarves and can wear shorts and T-shirts,” Alamgir said.

“This is the first gym dedicated to the needs of the Muslim community and has come about from the demands of the Muslim community.”

The gym is expected to encourage more Muslim women to be active, as only 18% of Muslim women take part in sport compared to 30% of the total female population, according to Sport England.

“There are restrictions on Muslim women’s ability to get fit. We want to encourage them to be active,” he added.

Haya Fitness plans on opening later this summer and is currently looking at venues across Cardiff after one possible site fell through.

“Keep supporting us, keep us in your thoughts and we are focusing all our energy on finding a bigger and better location for you,” a spokesman for Haya Fitness said.

Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.8 million, according to last census published in 2011.