Hundreds of Middlesbrough residents from the age of 16 to 80 are now keeping even fitter at a local gym thanks to help from UK Steel Enterprise.
Spartans Gym & Health Club on Cannon Park Road has been given £1,250 from the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary’s special Community Support Fund that backs projects helping to improve life for people living in its steel areas.
The money has enabled the gym to buy much-needed dumbbells to add to its range of equipment.
Robin Strange, who runs the gym with brother Gary, said: “This is the second time UKSE has helped us and the money is invaluable.
“Our aim, as a Community Interest Company, is to make gym membership affordable for everyone so it is hard to find the money for expensive equipment. The gym only costs £15 per month, or 50p a day, and people can come as often as they like.
“We have more than 300 members now, aged between 16 and 80. Some of them train very seriously for competitions whilst others just want to keep fit or enjoy exercising in company.”
The gym supports members who may be coping with problems such as unemployment, disability or are turning their lives around following issues with alcohol. That can include dietary advice or special classes and opportunities for young people to talk about the issues affecting their lives.
Young people from the Masters Training Centre in Thornaby, that has also received help from UK Steel Enterprise, are now attending the gym for special training programmes.
In 2011, the gym was refurbished and given new cardiovascular equipment by unemployed young people on a Prince’s Trust Team Programme, also backed by UK Steel Enterprise.
“That really helped us to increase the number of young people and women coming to the gym,” added Robin.
“Everything UK Steel Enterprise has done for us has made such a difference.”
Peter Taylor, area manager for UK Steel Enterprise, said “An affordable gym is a huge asset to the local community as it not only improves health and fitness but is a valuable social meeting place.”