EMD UK is working with Pungra to help Tackle Inequalities

EMD UK has been awarded funding from Sport England’s  £20m Tackling Equalities Fund which was made possible by National Lottery funding.  EMD UK is currently working with partner organisation Pungra to support them in creating ‘home-based heroes’, or Activators, with a focus on increasing exercise at home for South Asian populations.  Pungra is ‘Good group exercise to Punjabi music’ where participants execute Punjabi dance-inspired movements between high and low intensity levels to popular and current Punjabi music. 

Pungra received a grant to run a project to encourage more people to exercise from home. Running from October to December 2020, it is hoped that the project will appeal to South Asian females primarily, but anyone is welcome to join the activations.

A community and learning experience has been created for home-based Activators to connect with individuals in their local communities and run twice weekly Pungra on-demand sessions via YouTube to help break down technology barriers to accessing online workouts.

Founder of Pungra, Ravi Sindhu, tells us about the project in this podcast – how it came about, why we need Activators (and not excuses!), and the benefits the project will bring.

The project is perfect for anyone interested in becoming a Pungra group exercise instructor in the future, but people don’t have to become an instructor to continue to be a fantastic Activator.

Ravi tells us “For anyone thinking ‘I don’t think I can become an Activator, I am not good at doing Pungra’, then they’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Pungra Activators do not need to be able to do the moves, and definitely not be able to instruct them. Instead, Activators are motivators and coordinators which can be achieved using technologies like WhatsApp or similar.’

About the Tackling Inequalities Fund

The aim of the Fund is to minimise the impact of COVID 19 on activity levels in under-represented groups, namely lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions, ensuring that the physical activity participation inequality gap doesn’t widen during this period in targeted communities

A survey commissioned by Sport England found that at the beginning of lockdown 32% of all adults were doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity on 5 or more days per week.  This dropped to between 24% and 29% for BAME communities and differences of activity levels were also found among different demographic groups.

You can read about other TIF projects that EMD UK is supporting here