It doesn't matter what age you are or how fit you are to start with – it's all good!!
Like lots of people, Zahira has had times in her life when she has been more active. She tried exercising at home, but the motivation was hard to maintain. Zahira, always wanted to try karate so when the opportunity to join the Pearls of Peace karate sessions arose - she was delighted.
Finding the time for exercise isn't always easy, Zahira is chair of a local community group, works part-time in a school and is a single mum with five children, she's a busy person. Also, being overweight has led to arthritis of the hips and knees which makes exercise very difficult.
Zahira is a Muslim, so it's important to have a female-only environment to exercise in - and there are limited options in Northampton. Progress is slow but the classes are helping with her joints and although she is still in pain, she has been able to stretch a bit further every week. Learning a new skill has also helped her to develop confidence, improving her emotional wellbeing. Zahira tells us that her family are delighted to see her having fun.
About Pearls of Peace
Pearls of Peace is a women's community and development group, established in 2009. It is run by a group of friendly and dedicated Muslim woman.
Prior to COVID-19, the group met for weekly coffee mornings. The organisation had also just started a regular fitness session. However, participation gradually dwindled over time. The pandemic also meant the classes ended abruptly, and there was no contingency plan in place to support the women with their fitness.
Supporting members throughout the pandemic has been a challenge for Pearls of Peace. Technical barriers, bad weather and fear of infection have presented difficulties in maintaining contact and organising activities. However, the organisation aspires to give members and their families opportunities to achieve positive health outcomes. Through Sport England's 'Tackling Inequalities Fund' which is allocated by Northamptonshire Sport, Pearls of Peace have been able to continue their mission.
For more information about Pearls of Peace, please contact them directly:
website - pearlsofpeace.co.uk
Email - click here