About Us

W I S P A - (Women in Sport & Physical Activity) is a cross community women’s project with charitable status established in 1997.

We are a non-profit organisation working to provide increased opportunities for women to access affordable, fun-based physical activity programmes. Our physical activity sessions are delivered by fully qualified female instructors who specialise in a range of exercise methods, e.g. Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Circuits, Chair based and more!


Wispa’s mission is: 
“To encourage and support more women to be more physically active and empower them to make healthier lifestyle choices.”

We are a non-profit organisation working to identify gaps existing in local communities concerning women’s health. Our aim is to provide increased opportunities for women to access affordable, fun based physical activity programmes. Fully qualified female instructors who specialise in a range of exercise methods deliver our physical activity sessions for women aged 18+. We are a Belfast wide project delivering in local community based venues such as, schools, church halls, community centres, leisure centres etc.

Our work targets women residing in the most socially deprived areas of Belfast, with particular emphasis on those who are at risk of developing poor mental and physical health due to low or decreasing physical activity levels. WISPA focus on hard to reach groups such as disengaged women, older women, women with disabilities and women from ethnic minorities. We support local communities to meet local needs through co-production and partnership working, focusing on common interests and combining resources.

About US

We are currently funded under the National Lottery Community Fund NI Awards for All to deliver our new M.E.L.T. (Mindfulness, Exercise, Learning, Together) Project and the Move To Improve Project under Versus Arthritis. 

We have received a grant to deliver our ‘Move To Improve’ Project with Versus Arthritis which aims to provide increased opportunities for women who suffer from arthritis, mobility issues and other on going pain conditions. The aim is to support women who suffer from these conditions and help them manage their pain through exercise and movement and help improve their mobility, flexibility, pain and encourage them to lead a healthier lifestyle. We will also promote and educate the women on the benefits of physical activity and how exercise can help reduce and prevent pain associated with these illnesses. 

We have also received a second grant from the National Lottery- Awards for All to deliver our M.E.L.T. Project (Mindfulness, Exercise, Learning, Together). This project aims to tackle health inequalities that women face after the impact of COVID-19 through developing connections, providing more opportunities and strengthening community bonds. We will deliver physical activity programmes with a new addition of Mindfulness in our classes to support women to become more resilient in order to respond better to an ever changing world. We hope this new addition will support women to overcome any mental and/or physical challenges they have occurred as a result of COVID-19. 

We can deliver:
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Legs, Bums & Tums
  • Boxercise
  • Zumba
  • Mindfulness
  • Challenges 
  • Circuits
  • Dance Classes
  • Chair Exercise
  • Chair Yoga
  • Mother/Baby 
  • Bootcamps
  •  Sports Lessons

If you are a project/organisation who would like to make a booking with us – please contact us for more information.

These programmes will be tailored to the specific needs of the women engaged. Through participation, we will focus on improving the fitness levels of women by providing them with the opportunity to enhance their health and wellbeing.

our funders

From August 2022 – March 2023, WISPA have been very fortunate to secure funding from the National Lottery Community Fund NI & Versus Arthritis. WISPA have secured core funding through Public Health Agency, this funding is crucial to the project as it supports us to employ core staff who are committed to achieving WISPA’s aims and objectives. Wispa would like to thank our funders for their continued support.

The National Lottery Community Fund NI is the largest community funder in the UK. Each year they distribute millions of pounds of The National Lottery’s good causes money to community groups and charitable projects around the country. The National Lottery Community Fund NI support people and communities to thrive. They award money raised by National Lottery players across the UK and support ideas and projects that matter to people and communities. 

Public Health Agency was established in 2009 under a major reform of health structures in Northern Ireland. The multi-disciplinary, multi-professional body has a strong regional and local presence. The PHA was set up to provide a renewed and enhanced focus on public health and wellbeing by bringing together a wide range of public health functions under one organisation. They are also required to create better inter-sectoral working, including enhanced partnership arrangements with local government, to tackle the underlying causes of poor health and reduce health inequalities.

Versus Arthritis is made up of fundraisers, supporters, bakers, health professionals, volunteers, campaigners and researchers. Together, they are demanding that the pain and isolation of arthritis is no longer tolerated. They are pushing to defy arthritis. They are constantly campaigning to challenge the misconceptions around arthritis and to ensure that arthritis is recognised as priority in the UK.

our partners

WISPA are committed to ensure real partnerships and co-production with local communities to identify, understand take action on root causes. For this reason we have been pro-active in identifying community partners to assist us in the delivery of our work. By combining resources, this approach will build on the assets and strengths of our community networks, enabling participation and empowerment, creating more resilient communities. These partners include the following organisations and more:

The Shankill Womens Centre was formed in 1987 as a locally based group to provide education for women. Since that period, it has flourished and developed to its current position as a key provider for training, health awareness, and childcare and young womens activities in the Greater Shankill and beyond. The health and wellbeing project aims to support women to make healthier lifestyle choices for themselves and their family. To improve their physical health and their sense of wellbeing.

Ligoniel Healthy Living Centre is a community health organisation funded by the Public Health Agency to tackle health inequalities in the Ligoniel area of North Belfast. It supports and addresses health prevention, intervention, crisis intervention, and achieving clinical targets in a user friendly, innovative way. Services include, Physical Activity Classes, Health Wellbeing Support, Chronic Pain Support, Family Support and more.

Windsor Women’s Centre is a community resource located in South Belfast. The Centre provides a holistic range of services to meet the needs of local women and children. Women can gain skills and qualifications through educational programmes, health and wellbeing activities and community capacity building projects. Provision for children includes day-care, crèche, after-schools as well as the delivery of the Family Support Hub CASA.

EBCDA is the umbrella organisation supporting community development in East Belfast. Our membership is made up of community groups drawn from an area that contains almost 94,000 people. It is representative of a broad range of interests and needs within communities and encompasses a variety of groups, including local residents associations, faith based organisations, sports clubs, older peoples projects and womens groups. East Belfast Community Development Agency exists to provide resources, support and capacity building programmes for community groups that are based on partnership, equal opportunities and sustainable outcomes.

Core to the work of the HLC is to promote health and wellbeing in its broadest sense across the Upper Springfield and Whiterock areas, while addressing health inequalities. This is achieved using a community development approach using the LEAP for Health model (Learning, Evaluation Planning). The HLC provides innovative, organic solutions to meet local needs, while working in partnership with other organisations to create sustainable health improvement structures and programmes. The HLC delivers a universal programme across the area as well as targeted activities based on local needs to particular individuals/groups. The programme also seeks to raise awareness of the underlying social and economic determinants of health, while empowering and supporting the local population to make healthy choices.

Belfast Trust is the largest integrated health and social care Trust in the United Kingdom. They deliver integrated health and social care to approximately 340,000 citizens in Belfast and provide the majority of regional specialist services to all of Northern Ireland. They have an annual budget of £1.3bn and a workforce over 20,000 (full time and part time). Belfast Trust also comprises the major teaching and training hospitals in Northern Ireland.

Meet the team

The WISPA Board

Our fantastic WISPA board members include Eileen Weir, Iris Mc Ilroy, Emma Sheehy and Tracey Mawhinney. All of our board members have been with us since 2002 and they are all from a community and voluntary background. We are lucky to have these inspirational women who are passionate, committed and supportive of the work Wispa do and help us address the needs of women in Belfast. 

Audrey Barr
Project Manager

Audrey first got involved in WISPA in 2001 as a volunteer and then as a development worker in 2003 and the rest is history! Now 20 years later, Audrey is Project Manager and was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Honours Awards in 2020. 

Niamh O' Neill
Project Coordinator

Niamh joined the WISPA team in 2017 and previously studied Communications with Public Relations at Jordanstown. Niamh does a bit of everything here at Wispa and enjoys seeing the positive impact that the project has on the women involved. 

Angela Fegan
Fitness Instructor

Angela specialises in Zumba, Chair, Boxercise and more! Angela loves working in the community with real women and her advice to women who want to get active is don’t give up, keep going and you are stronger than you think!

Claire Grattan Logan
Fitness Instructor

Claire also known as “Crazy girl” loves working with the women at WISPA to help them improve their fitness but also for the social aspect and promoting a positive mental attitude. Claire specialises in boxercise, Pilates, Zumba, circuits and many more! 

Helen Mead
Personal Trainer

Helen joined us back in 2019 and specialises in circuits, 1-1 personal training, HIIT classes and small group training. Helen loves working with women to better their physical and mental wellbeing and enjoys Crossfit training when she has a spare minute! 

Maria Roberts
Fitness Instructor

Maria specialises in circuits, legs, bums & tums, HIIT and boot camp classes. Maria’s advice to women would be to work hard and trust the process on their health and wellbeing journey. Maria loves working with WISPA because of the work we do to support local communities. 

Tracey Montague
Pilates Instructor

Tracey loves working with WISPA because there are opportunities for ALL women to get involved and start their journey to a healthier lifestyle. Tracey delivers Pilates and exercise to music classes. 

Roise Connor
Pilates Instructor

Roise is a Pilates instructor and her advice to women who want to get active is- routine is key and to start small and gradually build on that. She suggests walking to get outdoors in the fresh air and of course pilates! 

Susan Skelton
Fitness Instructor

Susan delivers Pilates, chair activity, circuits, LBT & more! Susan enjoys working with the wide variety of women through WISPA and believes there are no barriers to exercise except yourself! 

Elizabeth O' Hagan
Yoga Instructor

Elizabeth specialises in yoga and family yoga sessions. Elizabeth loves meeting new women through WISPA and believes the key is staying active is finding something you enjoy! 

Eileen Rocks
Yoga Instructor

Eileen also known as Roxy, delivers Strala Yoga which is a modern approach to Yoga. She believes women must make the commitment and be consistent in order to achieve their health and well being goals. 

Sarah Rowan
Fitness Instructor

Sarah recently joined the WISPA team under the F.A.B. Project where she qualified in level 2 & 3 in personal training. We are delighted to have her on the team!

Niamh O'Neill
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Niamh O'Neill
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