Gym Owner Monthly

Norwich gym-goers discuss female-only spaces

Female gym-goers have been describing their experiences of harassment and saying why they are now choosing women-only spaces to work out.

The women, from the Norwich area, told the BBC they had seen men pointing, laughing and staring at them in mixed gyms, and they had felt uncomfortable being in the weights area.

A number of personal trainers and gyms in the city have been offering female-only classes, with hopes of boosting their confidence to continue exercising.

Trainer Kay Midlane said viral videos online of men harassing women in gyms had led to some feeling too scared to work out.

“I don’t want them to, sort of, just be sheltered here for life. I do want to help them build up that confidence so that they can eventually go into a mixed gym,” she said.

Sport England, which launched the campaign This Girl Can in 2015, said supporting women when they were getting active was “an absolute priority”.

It said the creation of accessible and safe places for women was a “major part” of its new Uniting the Movement strategy.