Women only gym hours introduced at Heath Park

A women’s only gym hour has been approved for the Cardiff Medical Centre Sports and Social Club on the Heath Park campus. The session is open to all female students and not just those studying at the Heath Park.

This decision increases pressure on the University gyms to follow suit, as there has been clear support for this move for some time, but Cardiff University Sport have so far made no progress towards implementing a similar scheme.

A petition at the beginning of the 2013 academic year called for women’s only slots which led the VP Heath Park, Gemma Wheeler, to lobby both the CMC Sports and Social Club and the University Sports facilities teams who both rejected the idea.

After further call from a consultation in the IV lounge at the Heath and mention of women’s only gym sessions within a motion brought forward by Taslima Alam (Black and Ethnic Minorities Officer 2014-2015) at the AMM which called for a more Muslim-friendly union and more accessible facilities the centre at the Heath have now agreed to run these sessions.

The first sessions will take place this week. Wheeler has said of the result that it is “such a good example of how we, at the Students’ Union, can represent the people we were mandated to, and who present us with problems which can later result in positive change!”

She has also stated that she hopes that the sessions will be replicated in the Cardiff University Sports facilities in order to make the Students Union more Muslim friendly in line with the new policy approved at this year’s AMM.

VP Sport & AU President, Edore Evuarherhe, talking about why the University has been slow to address the desire for Women’s only gym times, said, “They are sending round a survey to gauge students’ interest as well as conducting equality impact assessments. I’d hope for positive results from these and that we get women’s only sessions in our gyms.”

Rowan Whittington