WOMEN on an Oxford estate will be able to take advantage of free workouts in private thanks to special Lottery-funded exercise sessions.

All women who are Rose Hill residents can apply for the free gym classes at the Oxford Academy.

Windows of the gym will be covered to make it escpecially inviting to Muslim women who would otherwise need to cover up.

The 10 sessions led by a female instructor will start on Monday and are a partnership between the Rose Hill Lottery project and the communities team at the academy in Sandy Lane West, Littlemore.

Gym instructor Lisa Harrold will be leading the sessions.

The Rose Hill 26-year-old said: “I think it opens up the opportunity for women to stay fit and healthy.

“I will speak to them first as everyone is different but we won’t be doing anything hardcore.”

Fran Gardner, Rose Hill community worker, said: “This is a great opportunity for women to have exclusive use of these wonderful facilities.

“The staff at the academy are so considerate of women’s feelings and cultural needs.”

Five women have signed up so far but there are up to 20 spaces available.

Ms Gardner added: “It is not exclusive for Muslim women, but it is helpful for them because usually they can’t go to a gym in the same way that we can – it is much more restrictive for them, they cannot remove their hijab and they cannot show their arms or legs in front of men.”

A hijab is a veil worn by Muslim women to cover their head.

The classes will run every Monday from 1.30pm to 2.45pm.

To book a place call Fran Gardener on 07770 324 277.