GymNation's first GRIT Games with Les Mills a thrilling success

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GymNation UAE hosted the first GRIT Games in the Middle East from 13th until 26th February, across their eight locations and 1,200 registered participants. GRIT Games are a series of exercises inspired from Les Mills GRIT training. The team/participant to complete these exercises the fastest is the winner. In GymNation’s GRIT Games, the prizes included a trip for two to New Zealand to visit Les Mills HQ in Auckland, and a share of the AED 7500 prize money.


‘The purpose was to build a community of GRIT enthusiasts in this region and to engage with instructors and members outside of GymNation’, said Desmond Wong, Group Exercise Manager at GymNation Motor City.


Organisers at GymNation and Les Mills IMEA were pleasantly surprised to see the competition and camaraderie that emerged out of GRIT Games. The event started on the 13th of February with regionals held across each of the clubs. Winners from each of the locations competed for the top spots amongst the categories of Men, Women and Teams. The games were judged by GRIT instructors who have been teaching for several years and the Head Judge, Orlando Aragon, who was greatly involved in the inclusion of all participants by modifying movements while maintaining the GRIT essence.


The winners in each of the categories were as follows-


Female- Denisa Alexandru, Reem Elwazeer, Mariam Tarek


Male- Baraa Lulu, Ahmed Babiker, Salah Kelani


Teams- Rateb El Khayat/ Shereen Akram/ Raed El Khalil/ Raja Tenebro; Alia Petrova/ Sergei Perelygin/ Seman Kokotliv


When asked what the best part about the Games was, Desmond added that Raniya Al Hazmi, GRIT Coach from Saudi Arabia, flew down to Dubai to participate in the games. ‘It was great to see that level of competition and her love for the program.’


As a result of the games, participation in Les Mills classes across clubs increased by 30%.


It was also noted that member performance in GRIT classes improved, with participants lifting heavier weights and performing more confidently across exercises, despite BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT being the most popular programs. Talking about plans for the future, GymNation is set to organise GRIT Games yearly and to make them bigger than ever with their 50,000 and growing member base.


GymNation Middle East would also like to give a shoutout to the volunteers who supported the event to make it a success, and to Marc Downey, Trainer Director, Les Mills IMEA for jumping in at the last minute to participate in a team that needed one more member.