Interview: Fluid Fridays with Tony Basra!
13th July 2021
Fluid Fridays - a donation led, weekly inclusive fitness and wellbeing service in Glasgow.
Fitness instructor Tony Basra recently formed Fluid Fridays. This is a service which runs every Friday from 12-4pm at Tempo Community Space in Rutherglen, Glasgow. The classes currently on offer include: Body Blast boot camp; Learn how to lift, and Strength & Conditioning boot camp.
When did you become a fitness instructor and what motivated you to go down this path?
I've now been a fitness instructor for 3 years. I was at a bit of a crossroads three years ago and was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, what I enjoyed and what I cared about. This is what led me to retrain as a personal trainer, and I'm so happy I did. I've always cared about helping others and believe everyone on this earth should be treated the same way.
Before I became a trainer, fitness had played an integral part of my life for over a decade, and it has helped me become a more authentic, happy, healthy, and confident version of myself. I grew up in Glasgow's predominantly white east end as a queer POC (person of colour) and for years struggled with body image and identity. I was a lot heavier back then and never quite understood where I fitted in. Am I Scottish or Indian or both!? I never appreciated my culture or ethnicity and everyone around me lived life in a very different manner. And even though the people around me weren't always necessarily that nice to me I always wanted to be more like them. it was fitness and healthy eating that helped set me free from these feelings.
You recently started up a weekly inclusive fitness class called Fluid Fridays. Can you tell us more about that and why you started it?
So many reasons! Helping others comes naturally to me and I want to help people similar to me; folk who don't feel as if they belong. Folk who have struggled in life to find where they fit in and, let's be honest, there is also such a need for more queer sober spaces in Glasgow.
Gym anxiety is real and I can't imagine how visiting a gym would be for someone who is trans or non-binary. Gyms are generally quite heteronormative spaces and everyone deserves access to keeping fit. It massively supports our mental and physical health, and this is something many queer people struggle with. And I believe there is such a need for a queer gym to help enrich the queer communities lives. A space where we all feel welcome, safe, and happy.
What has the response been from participants so far?
The response has been great. Everyone who has come down has really enjoyed the classes and they've mentioned how welcomed and comfortable they feel. They've also found all the lessons really useful and I've had people come back more than once too. They are all behind the idea/project and super pleased that the classes are even available.
What is your long-term goal for the Fluid Fridays project?
Right now I'm fundraising, so as it stands it's my own time and money going into the project. I'm hoping to apply for funding later this year and I would love, love to have a fully queer led standalone gym site in the next 12 months, that offers classes 5- 7 days a week alongside other services to support the general well-being of Glasgow's queer community.
Fluid Fridays: fluid_fridays
Tony Basra: tonybasra