Fortunately, at ISB we are an inclusive community of open-minded people who have questioned but come to accept the girls-only gym session. Along with the many other services our school offers, it also offers the opportunity to use the gym and weight training machines. In the gym, there’s a variety of machines and many other forms of workout equipment like exercise bikes, treadmills and weights. Many students use the staff-supervised gym after school or during their lunch times. A newer feature that the PE department has included recently, is the girls-only session on Wednesdays after school.
The general reaction to the girls-only session is confusion because, well why do girls need a session just for them? Every girl is different, but the majority can agree that the gym environment is more comfortable when there’s a lack of male presence. Girls-only gyms are very popular for a number of reasons. Whether that’s because working out is a traditionally male-dominated sport, or because working out with other girls is a form of girl power, the general consensus is that a girls-only gym session isn’t a bad idea. It’s not really about the lack of male presence, but more about female independence and how important that is, even in a traditionally male-dominated environment.
During the gym session, there’s a female supervisor, Ms Akina Lootus, who encourages the girls attending to gather more of their friends who could also join the session. It’s known to be a supportive environment where more girls should enjoy working out. Currently, very few people attend the session because a lot of people don’t know much about it but of course the idea that there’s power in numbers is another important aspect of overcoming the stigma around female empowerment in sports. The girls who attend it, enjoy it thoroughly but the more people who attend, the better!