Swimming has helped many with mental health and overall well-being.
I became a swimming teacher in lockdown to help South Asians to swim. Many have not been able to learn as children as they couldn’t afford it, others have not learnt because of being conscious of showing skin. It’s something that many need to learn so I became a teacher and have set up the swimming sisters club where south Asian women come together and I help them with confidence, learning to swim, overcome fear and anxiety and I have helped women in their early 20’s to those in their 80’s.
Swimming has helped many with mental health and overall well-being. I became a swim teacher in my 40’s and am the only Sikh female swimming teacher. I also run and am going to do my first full London Marathon this year. I have set up a running group for women. I am taking a group of 100 women to Mount Snowdon.
I would never think at this age I would be the most active and doing these types of activities to help other south Asian women.
In the lockdown as a family, we raised £15,000 for NHS through the skipping challenge.
I was worried about showing my skin and also feeling body conscious. I also didn’t feel the pool was for people like me and the same with the outdoors and feel it’s not something that is promoted in my community to exercise. Also hearing comments from people in the community who would say why do you exercise so much, you should enjoy life. I also feel as an Asian woman I lack confidence as we are always made to feel second best to men.
My parents and my mum especially who is 71 and learnt to swim by my dad. She can hula hoop, cycle, run, and climb mountains and is an inspiration and lost a stone in the pandemic. She is a motivator for me and the women in the community.
It was really difficult as gyms and pools closed during the pandemic. I tried to go for walks, skip and took up running. I was excited about getting back to the gym and also to classes and seeing people again and being able to swim. I love exercise now and would never change it for the world. Health is wealth and it’s such an important part of my life.