GymNation, the UAE’s leading gym operator, today announces the success of its partnership with inclusive sports community NPO, Heroes of Hope. The partnership was set up at the start of November 2020, to reaffirm GymNations focus on supporting UAE communities, by providing People of Determination the opportunity to excel through employment and access to fitness.
The partnership comes in response to Abu Dhabi’s launch of a comprehensive five-year strategy for People of Determination, aiming to create an integrated and enabling environment for them with the participation of over 28 local and federal government entities. The announcement came on September 12th, by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The strategy addresses People of Determination’s needs at all stages of life, including health, rehabilitation, education, employment, social care and social security, as well as social engagement, sports, culture and tourism. The partnership has created ‘GymNation Heroes’ and is split into two key activities. “Both elements of the partnership provide a fully inclusive fitness community, where individuals of all abilities can experience the positive impact that involvement in fitness can generate.” Ant Martland, Co-Founder of GymNation said.
The first activity is a GymNation Heroes internship initiative, providing People of Determination with the opportunity to take part in an ongoing paid internship scheme within their chosen GymNation location. As part of the ongoing initiative, GymNation Heroes will gain experience within all functions of gym operations, including; front of house, back office admin support and gym floor management. Throughout the internship, regular assessments will be put in place along with certificates of achievements for reaching various success milestones. All GymNation Heroes will be remunerated monthly at the same rate as full time GymNation staff. The aim of the internship is to provide foundations in the form of invaluable life and workplace skills, to all GymNation Heroes, with the goal of full time employment at GymNation in the near future.
After undergoing the standard interview process with a member of GymNation’s management, and a full induction into the GymNation team; Marwan Mansoor, Kieran Carter and Verano Field were all selected to be the first GymNation Heroes. The three Heroes began their internship at GymNation Motor City in mid-November. GymNation Hero Kieran Carter said “I love being part of the GymNation team, I love learning new things each time I visit GymNation and we are all having a lot of fun carrying out all the tasks in the gym.”
The second activity in the partnership is centered around creating and maintaining a safe and inspiring environment where People of Determination across the UAE have the opportunity to exercise. Under the guidance of fully trained and qualified instructors GymNation and Heroes of Hope are working together to create an ongoing series of fitness classes, events and training programmes dedicated to championing inclusion in fitness for as many of the 110,000 People of Determination within the UAE as possible.
Martland said: “As a UAE homegrown brand, a key mission for GymNation is to align with and support other homegrown organisations that are doing unbelievable things within the local community. Heroes of Hope epitomise that. Following the recent opening of our Khalidiyah Mall and Mirdif gyms, there are now six GymNation locations across the UAE, with at least five more planned for 2021 opening. We are looking forward to working with Heroes of Hope on a number of initiatives across these locations that will further support the five-year strategy for People of Determination, that was announced by the UAE government in September this year.”
Hollie Murphy, Founder of Heroes of Hope added: “When I started out as PE teacher in Dubai, twelve years ago, People of Determination were not given the opportunity to be as involved with sports and fitness as they are now. Since then, I have worked tirelessly to create a fully inclusive community in the form of Heroes of Hope, through which, thousands of People of Determination have been empowered and have shown that there is no barrier to inclusion. After the latest round of successful interns, I am looking forward to more opportunities with GymNation, to not only provide People of Determination with the opportunity to thrive in the workplace but to create a base where People of Determination can take part in fitness across the whole of the UAE.”