We can make a difference,'non-profit gym opens and visitors flock to venue
Last week, a group of friends launched a non-profit gym in Abertillery, attracting over a hundred visitors on its opening day.
The gym, named K Style, is located behind the Abertillery Fire Station and beneath Anvil Court, and it officially opened on Wednesday, January 3.
186 people attended the event, and 48 students signed up for a membership at the new gym.
Karl Rowberry, one of the owners of the gym, told the South Wales Argus that the opening was a huge success.
Karl Rowberry trains youngsters at Gym opening.
He said: “It was very successful and passed our expectations as more than 100 people came to the opening, and we have already had 48 students sign up to the gym.
“We have been seeking a place to rent for some time until recently I managed to obtain the lease for the Dojo space underneath Anvil Court.”
Mr Rowberry teamed up with his partner, Lisa Silverthorne, and friend Justin Mitchell along with his wife, Carly Mitchell, to open the new exercise space.
He added: “Me and Justin came from troubled backgrounds and weren’t the best-behaved youths.
"With a lack of guidance and nothing to do, we kept getting up to mischief and all sorts of trouble.
Justin Mitchell helps young child with training techniques.
Mr Rowberry and Mr Mitchell started learning the combat sport Muay Thai (Thai boxing) which sparked a passion to help others.
“After starting Muay Thai it kept me off the street and fired my passion as I went on to win Welsh Champion and progressed on to tutoring other athletes that are now well known in the ring," he added.
“Justin was a student of mine and went on to do well and Lisa is a local successful business owner who was keen to get this project up.
"Carly is another of my students and works for the local health board and can bring her skills and experience to the team.”
A group of children learn some techniques from coaches Justin Mitchell and Karl Rowberry.
The foursome decided to open the gym to help with problems of anti-social behaviour in the area and to promote mental health.
He added: “We want to help the youth in the community as we recognise anti-social behaviour to be a big issue at present.
“With it being a deprived area, we hope to offer free training for a limited number of students until they can sustain themselves.
“We aim to alleviate the growing problems of anti-social behaviour and are open to all ages, genders, and abilities promoting equality and diversity we believe we can make a difference.”
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