Gym owners reach out to community
THREE local lads who took over a city gym threatened with closure want to give back to the community.
Fit24 in St Stephen's was put into administration before Christmas.
Rather than let it close, Fit24 instructors Jack Burton, 20, John Williams, 32, and Glen Bilton, 25, decided to take over the fitness centre.
General manager Mr Bilton said: "The three of us took the gym out of administration as a team. We saw the potential in it.
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"We reach out to a lot of people through what we do and we had been here from the start."
Mr Bilton says membership has gone up since they took over, and members are relieved it is back up and running.
He said: "People like to see it's the same faces.
"We have been here since day one and we put 100 per cent in to what we do."
Now, as well as providing gym membership for hundreds of fitness fans, Fit24 is also offering services to two community and sports groups, to try to help make a difference in the city.
These include Hull Children's University, which the gym has been working with for a while, and now the professional boxers from St Paul's Academy.
Hull Children's University has been working with Mr Bilton to offer fitness sessions on a Saturday morning to schoolchildren.
And after speaking with one of the coaches at St Paul's, the new owners decided to offer their professional help with strength and conditioning training for the St Paul's boxers.
The boxers are now being put through their paces twice a week, working on specific strength training.
The rest of the time, they work in the South Church Side gym with their boxing coaches.
Mr Bilton said: "John used to box at St Paul's and we got talking to one of the coaches and it all went from there.
"We all give our time for free to come and do these."
The boxers using the sessions are all professional fighters.
They are put throughout their paces in cardiovascular and strength exercises.
Mr Bilton said: "We are looking at the conditioning side of things, not the boxing, more with regards to the endurance.
"John takes them through body work, he does functional training and it's tough, but they all really enjoy it."
Paul Kershaw, coach at St Paul's, said: "This is part of their development.
"What we are looking to do is to take them to the next level.
"To do that, it is great we can team up with people so knowledgeable about strength and conditioning.
"We know about strength and conditioning but, at the end of the day, we are boxing coaches and these are the experts."