AN England netball star is coming to Bradford this Friday (July 2) to deliver a class hosted by an organisation which aims to help more women get involved in sport.

Ziana Butt, a highly commended finalist at the 2020 Asian Women of Achievement awards, became the first British Pakistani to represent England when she played for the under-21s side at the 2019 World Indoor Championships in South Africa.

She will be visiting Parkside Sports Centre in BD5 to work with Nutrition Advice, Fitness & Selfcare (NAFS), who support socially isolated women/girls from BAME communities in Bradford.

Founded by Nadera Amini, NAFS aims to build confidence, resilience, and understanding of the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Starting in 2017, the organisation saw a significant increase in demand for their services and online activities during lockdown. Sessions were able to offer both social and psychological support as well as physical activity and reduce feelings of isolation.

As a Pakistani Muslim housewife and mother, who moved to the UK from Germany, Nadera wants to empower woman in her community by offering them opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing in a safe and accessible way.

Volunteer-ran NAFS works with women and girls from deprived areas of Bradford (BD3, BD5, BD8, BD9); many are from refugee or migrant backgrounds and face multiple barriers to integrating fully into UK society.

These communities also suffer serious health disadvantages, with high prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The pandemic has only widened physical and mental health inequalities, as these women have been isolated, lonely, and increasingly inactive during lockdown.

Nadera said: "The pandemic brought everything to a halt, there was no clubs running.

"Bradford is full of young women who have aspirations, but they don’t have a platform to train sport. It is all about the long-term effect in supporting them and showing them role models.

"I started this journey before Covid to get women into sport. Women, who have commitments at home or are from a low socio-economic background, they could not afford the expensive gear and membership.

"Our aim is to give them a platform. Even if they don’t become a professional player at least they feel a belonging.

"We have a mixed approach. We believe netball is a family sport. We start from 11-12-year-olds to all ages above. These will be mother-daughter sessions, so we will keep it very friendly and welcoming."

If you would like to get involved, email or ring 07884292992.