A group of young Muslim girls have enrolled in a unique new sports programme that proves religion does not have to get in the way of keeping fit.
Finding a sports club that is sensitive to Muslim beliefs can be difficult for many women in the borough as large numbers do not feel comfortable removing their head scarves and prefer to take part in single sex classes.
To combat this Brent Council and the Islamic Cultural Centre have joined forces to create a safe and understanding environment where they can feel free to be themselves while enjoying regular exercise.
The weekly programme, which is funded by Brent Youth Service, has helped to renew the 11 to 25-year-olds interest in sport, with participants trying their hand at everything from basketball to hockey and ice-skating.
Falak Butt, a youth worker for Brent Youth Service, helps run the sessions.
She said: "It can be hard to get Muslim girls to take part in sport.
"But as a Muslim woman, parents are happy to approach me about any issues concerning the girls and really support the project.
"The girls have definitely become more confident and their sports skills have improved. It's great to see them developing so well."
Fifteen-year-old Uzma Butt said: "We play a huge variety of sports, which is great. It was hard to get involved in sport before.
"Because we're all Muslims it's okay to take our head scarves off and because it's all girls in the group I feel comfortable and relaxed. I really enjoy it.
Faizah Siddiqi, 17, added: "Before I joined the sports group I used to stay at home.
"Since joining the club my fitness levels have improved and I've made loads of friends. I've also become more confident and have learnt to play in a team."
Weekly Sunday sessions take place between 1 and 3pm at Bridge Park Leisure Centre, in Wembley. [25a0] For more information call Brent Youth Service on 020 8937 3680 or visit www.brent.gov.uk/youthservice .