March 27, 2021

Interview with Tony Basra on Inclusivity in Sport and Fitness

One of our goals is to highlight inspirational LGBTQ+ sports people across the UK. I was thrilled to read about a new inclusive initiative based in Southside Glasgow called ‘We Are All Equal’ founded by Tony Basra. Tony is a personal trainer and nutritional adviser who spent over a decade working in the fitness and nutrition industry in Glasgow, Liverpool, and London. Tony is developing this community-led gym space in collaboration with The Tempo Wellness Centre, a new community-led space with a focus on health and wellbeing. ‘We Are All Equal’ is described as ‘a free weekly inclusive health and wellbeing service open to all’. I reached out to Tony to conduct an interview and learn more about his work.

Hi Tony, I really appreciate you taking time out to answer five questions for LGBTQ+ in Sport and shed a light on your current work that you are doing in Glasgow.

1.      This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know you Tony, can you please tell us a bit about yourself and the kind of work you are involved in?

Where to start! I’m in my mid 30’s Glasgow born and bred, lived down south for a bit and pretty well travelled. I’m pretty ambitious and growing up in Glasgow as a brown queer kid wasn’t always easy but I made it through.

This is also one of my main motivations for helping others, especially marginalised groups. I felt like an outsider growing up, and I was unsure where I fitted in, should I follow Indian or Scottish customs? I was unsure of who I was. It led to a lot of personal battles and struggles. To be fully honest, it has only been in the last few years when I started coaching/working for myself where I’ve truly found happiness. I now understand who I am and what I care about.

I’m a pretty positive person and believe in Karma. I also believe in helping others and I really love coaching people and helping them achieve their goals. The majority of the time the focus is on fat loss but I’m well skilled in muscle gain and strength goals too.

2.      LGBTQ+ in Sport is seeking to build a community and end all kinds of discrimination in sport in the UK. With that in mind, how was the planning process of ‘We Are All Equal’, and what is the significance of starting such an initiative?  

I believe gyms in general are heteronormative spaces and I work with a few people who identify as trans or non-binary and gym anxiety is a regular occurrence for them, more so than people who identify as cis. So I was thinking that we need a space that supports all sections of the queer community.

 

3.      Considering the current circumstances and the lockdown situation in Glasgow, what kind of feedback have you received from people regarding ‘We Are All Equal’?

The feedback has been great, and people are super excited for it to start, there is a need for it!

As soon as I have more info about reopening, I plan to really dive headfirst into this project. Currently, it’s small bits here and there to keep things going.

4.      How can people get involved and register, and know more about your work?

As it stands I am using my own email list on my website and Instagram to talk about any happenings with the project. There is also an Instagram account dedicated to the new gym, it’s @fluid_fridays

1.      Are there other projects/services you are offering and would like to share with us?

I offer a full remote coaching service and if people want to know more about that check out my Instagram accounts and website:

@TonyBasra

www.tonybasrafitness.com

 

Thank you so much Tony! I am excited to join this initiative and support your work.

Esraa Husain

March 27, 2021

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