Pungra is an unregistered charity, with the intention to become registered late in 2022.
Established in December 2021 by Dr Arim Ismail, Nusrat Butt, Kulbinder Bagri and Ravi Sandhu.
Vision and mission
To support people to become group exercise to Punjabi coaches across the UK. The reason is to facilitate classes and other events, to increase levels of participation in exercise especially amongst South Asian women (the least physically active demographic in the UK, UK Gov).
We’re best because
Our coach development program is endorsed by the UK’s National Governing Body for group exercise, EMD UK, and we’re a partner organisation of their’s. We also have expertise in planning projects, training coaches and collaboration with partners.
The founder, Ravi Sandhu, has been leading exercise classes since 2000. He is certified by Train Fitness and EMD UK as a group exercise instructor, since 2013. Professionally Ravi is a Learning Leader, having worked across dozens of global clients (CV) to create learning experiences and manage projects. We have supported a few community organisations on projects related to those we want to work on, they’ve been successful and from 2021 we are ready to lead on projects alone.
We are a partner organisation of EMD UK, the UK’s national governing body for group exercise. We will form additional partnerships with CIMPSA, Active Partnerships, London Sport, Sport England, Active IQ, UK Active, Diabetes UK, The British Heart Foundation, Punjabi record labels, fitness brands, volunteer groups and similar.
Trustee and beneficiary contribution
Arim, Kulbinder and Nusrat support Pungra, and collectively we work to lead by example by ensuring our Southall class is successful. This provides us a blueprint for others across the UK, and possibly the world of Punjabi music, to copy.
We are an unregistered charity with a zero balance bank account as of December 2021. We aim to achieve £5,000 in funding late in 2022, at which time we will register Pungra as a charity with the Charities Commission. We forecast operating projects in the £25,000 region by 2025, but this depends on our success in recruiting people to join our projects, and the adoption by participants in regions in the UK.
The need for Pungra
- South Asian women are the main demographic interested in group exercise to Punjabi classes, according to our attendance patterns since 2000.
- South Asian women are also the most inactive demographic in the UK (UK Gov).
- There are dozens of “bhangra fit” classes that operate across the UK already. These are operated uncertified, unqualified, uninsured people. We have a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with those people, help them become qualified with support from EMD UK and to increase the level of quality of classes.
Who identified these problems?
Ravi has been leading classes since 2000. Most (approximately 95%) of people that have attended Ravi’s classes have done so for exercise, and not primarily to learn dance sequences or take part in performances. However, most other classes that even use terms like “bhangra fitness” are teaching their classes to set people up to become performers; which is not meeting the participants’ needs.
These findings are his observations, which can easily be observed through YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Many dance teachers are displaying their teaching skills which are currently subpar compared to the expectations of EMD UK’s Dance Fitness Qualification and Exercise to Music Level 2 (the minimum standard expected in the fitness industry for group exercise coaches). Search for any “bhangra fitness” instructor on CIMPSA’s membership directory, the only person currently is Ravi Sandhu.
Anyone else trying to fix the problem?
No. For the straightforward reasons that people promoting their classes as “fitness” classes are being disingenuous, naive or ignorant. Once we deliver our projects and bring those people genuinely interested in leading exercise classes, we will educate them on the techniques and standards expected on EMD UK’s Dance Fitness Qualification and Exercise to Music Level 2.
If we did not act
People interested in exercising to Punjabi music would be constantly disappointed that the classes available to them (if they are available close to them) have teachers with little to no formal training, and therefore low standards of teaching.
South Asians have been disproportionately affected by the COVID19 pandemic (The Guardian “But other factors may also have played a part, such as body weight, blood pressure and underlying health conditions.”
Pungra creates exercise videos and publish them freely to YouTube, for South Asians to exercise in the safety of their own home. This needs to be supplemented with in-person classes, preferably in fitness centres with high standards complying with COVID19 guidelines.
Typical project plan
Typical project budget required
|Training and enablement|
EMD UK and Pungra courses
New exercise/workout videos
Digital and in community
|Pungrathon (2 hours)|
Large sports or assembly hall
£80 per week for coach and venue
The target beneficiaries initially are adult South Asian women, with support for children’s exercise classes coming in the near future.
- Become aware of upcoming classes through our multichannel advertising campaign that includes:
- YouTube videos
- Facebook posts
- Posters in local supermarkets
- Find out more information on pungra.fit, including asking questions.
- Book place, including physical readiness questionnaire.
- Complete Pungra induction (an online course with assessment).
- Those who’ve booked are encouraged to promote to their family/friends/neighbours, etc. Call to action: Join the email list on pungra.fit to be kept in the know and motivated.
- Welcoming, motivating and informative updates 3 times a week throughout project.
- Begin classes.
- Return to classes each week that is possible (participation per week forecast to be 75%).
- Towards the end of the funded/subsidised classes, they are informed about changes (if any) after the funding periods ends, and how to sustain participation.
Vision and mission
Design courses, projects, and digital assets to facilitate exercise to Punjabi music across locations such as living rooms and fitness centres.
Form partnerships with agencies vested in expanding our offering, proven through funded projects and ongoing support in other forms. Such as:
- Active Partnerships
- London Sport
- Sport England
- Active IQ
- UK Active
- Diabetes UK
- The British Heart Foundation
- Punjabi music record label(s)
- Fitness chain(s)
- Community-based volunteer groups
- Lead certification programs designed to equip group exercise instructors to excel in leading physical exercise to Punjabi music activities.
- Lead projects designed to increase participation of physical exercise, including in-person classes at fitness activity centres.
The charity shall be managed by a committee of trustees who are appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the charity.
Carrying out the purposes
In order to carry out the charitable purposes, the trustees have the power to:
- raise funds, receive grants and donations,
- apply funds to carry out the work of the charity,
- cooperate with and support other charities with similar purposes,
- do anything which is lawful and necessary to achieve the purposes.
The charity shall have a membership. People who support the work of the charity and are aged 18 or over, can apply to the trustees to become a member. Once accepted by the trustees, membership lasts for one year and may be renewed.
The trustees may remove a person’s membership if they believe it is in the best interests of the charity. The member has the right to be heard by the trustees before the decision is made and can be accompanied by a friend.
Annual General Meeting
- The AGM must be held every year, with 14 days notice given to all members telling them what is on the agenda. Minutes must be kept of the AGM.
- There must be at least 3 members present at the AGM.
- Every member has one vote.
- The trustees shall present the annual report and accounts.
- Any member may stand for election as a trustee.
- Members shall elect between 3 and 10 trustees to serve for the next year. They will retire at the next AGM but may stand for re-election.
- Trustees must hold at least 3 meetings each year. At their first meeting after the AGM they will elect a chair, treasurer and secretary. Trustees may act by majority decision.
- At least 3 trustees must be present at the meeting to be able to take decisions. Minutes shall be kept for every meeting.
- If trustees have a conflict of interest they must declare it and leave the meeting while this matter is being discussed or decided.
- During the year, the trustees may appoint up to 2 additional trustees. They will stand down at the next AGM.
- The trustees may make reasonable additional rules to help run the charity. These rules must not conflict with this constitution or the law.
Money and Property
- Money and property must only be used for the charity’s purposes.
- Trustees must keep accounts. The most recent annual accounts can be seen by anybody on request.
- Trustees cannot receive any money or property from the charity, except to refund reasonable out of pocket expenses.
- Money must be held in the charity’s bank account. All cheques must be signed by 2 trustees.
If the Trustees consider it is necessary to change the constitution or wind up the charity, they must call a General Meeting so that the membership can make the decision.
Trustees must also call a General Meeting if they receive a written request from the majority of members. All members must be given 14 days notice and told the reason for the meeting. All decisions require a two-thirds majority. Minutes must be kept.
- Winding up – any money or property remaining after payment of debts must be given to a charity with similar purposes to this one.
- Changes to the Constitution – can be made at AGMs or General Meetings. No change can be made that would make the organisation no longer a charity.
- General Meeting – called on written request from a majority of members.
- Trustees may also call a General Meeting to consult the membership.
This constitution was adopted on 1st December 2021 by the people whose signatures appear below. They are the first members of the charity and will be the trustees until the AGM, which must be held within one year of this date.